|Headquarters||2 Marsham Street, London|
|Annual budget||£2.2 billion (current) & £400 million (capital) for 2011-12|
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Concordats set out agreed frameworks for co operation, between it and the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive, which have devolved responsibilities for these matters in their respective nations.
Defra also leads for Britain at the EU on agricultural, fisheries and environment matters and in other international negotiations on sustainable development and climate change, although a new Department of Energy and Climate Change was created on 3 October 2008 to take over the last responsibility; later transferred to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy following Theresa May's appointment as Prime Minister in July 2016.
It was formed in June 2001, under the leadership of Margaret Beckett, when the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) was merged with part of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) and with a small part of the Home Office.
The department was created after the perceived failure of MAFF, to deal adequately with an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. The department had about 9,000 core personnel, as of January 2008[update].
In October 2008, the climate team at Defra was merged with the energy team from the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), to create the Department of Energy and Climate Change, then headed by Ed Miliband.
|The Rt Hon. Theresa Villiers MP||Secretary of State||Strategy and overall responsibility for departmental policy; Budget and finances; Legislative programme; Emergencies; EU and international relations; Environment Agency and Natural England|
|Zac Goldsmith MP||Minister of State||TBC|
|George Eustice MP||Minister of State||Food and farming, including CAP (Common Agricultural Policy), apprenticeships, exports, and bovine TB (tuberculosis) policy; fisheries; better regulation; science and innovation|
|Rebecca Pow MP||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State||Animal welfare, marine, biodiversity and environment; domestic foresty; international foresty; COP26.|
|Lord Gardiner of Kimble||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs & Biosecurity||rural ambassador and rural affairs, covering rural life opportunities, broadband and mobile; biosecurity strategy, including endemic and exotic plant and animal disease, invasive alien species and Kew Gardens; animal health and welfare; commercial projects; landscape, including national parks; climate change adaptation; National Pollinator Strategy; all Defra parliamentary business in the House of Lords|
Shadow ministers portfolios can differ from government departments therefore overlap.
Defra is responsible for British Government policy in the following areas
The department's key delivery partners are:
A full list of departmental delivery and public bodies may be found on the Defra website.
Policies for environment, food and rural affairs are delivered in the regions by Defra's executive agencies and delivery bodies, in particular Natural England, the Rural Payments Agency, Animal Health and the Marine Management Organisation.
Defra provides grant aid to the following flood and coastal erosion risk management operating authorities:
Defra's overarching aim is sustainable development, which is defined as "development which enables all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations." The Secretary of State wrote in a letter to the Prime Minister that he saw Defra’s mission as enabling a move toward what the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has called "one planet living".
Under this overarching aim, Defra has five strategic priorities: