Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a major role in people’s day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.


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Secretary of State

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Ministers of State
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park - Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Victoria Prentis - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Rebecca Pow - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Lord Gardiner of Kimble - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)


Latest News (from Department Twitter Feed)

19 Jan 2021, 6:27 p.m.
Minister for Flooding @pow_rebecca today chaired a COBR meeting to prepare for the risk of significant flooding across parts of northern, central and eastern England. Sign up to flood warnings and check the latest safety advice here: https://t.co/wTjK2N3EYr - Link
19 Jan 2021, 3:39 p.m.
We must protect and improve ocean health and resilience to address the twin challenges of #ClimateChange and biodiversity loss. Our Minister @pow_rebecca highlights our vision for UK seas at today’s Coastal Futures event. Read more: https://t.co/p7TCcRtHFz #CoastalFutures21 https://t.co/S0DgDZ77rq - Link
View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Tweets

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Date Type Title
Nov. 26 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
May. 22 Urgent Questions Transport Emissions: Urban Areas
Dec. 08 Written Statements Avian Influenza: Housing Measures for Kept Birds
Jan. 13 Westminster Hall Rivers: Discharges
Jan. 19 Adjournment Debate Animal Charities: Covid-19
View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Commons Contibutions

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Bills and Acts in the Current Session


To make provision for the incorporation of the Direct Payments Regulation into domestic law; for enabling an increase in the total maximum amount of direct payments under that Regulation; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 30th January 2020 and was enacted into law.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Laid Secondary Legislation

Dates Department Title Type
Laid
15 Jan 2021
In Force
8 Feb 2021
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Countryside Stewardship (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
These Regulations, which apply to England only, are made pursuant to section 98 of the Environment Act 1995.
Laid
5 Jan 2021
In Force
1 Jan 2021
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Organic Production (Organic Indications) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made affirmative procedure
These Regulations are made in exercise of the powers conferred by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (c. 16) in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies (in particular under section 8(2)(a) and (g) of that Act) arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secondary Legislation

Petitions addressed by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Current Signatures Final Signatures Title Petition Deadline
247,048
Petition Closed

Ban the use of all non-recyclable and unsustainable food packaging

Gov Responded - 18 Jun 2019 Debated on - 24 Jun 2019
5 Jun 2019
closed 1 year, 7 months ago

Today the Earth is at a crisis point due to our plastic consumption, and as a result, people in the UK are more willing than ever to engage in recycling. Yet so much food packaging remains completely, frustratingly unrecyclable. Let's aim for the UK to lead the world with a 100% recycling rate.

186,226
Petition Closed

Reject calls to add Staffordshire Bull Terriers to the Dangerous Dogs Act

Gov Responded - 5 Jul 2018 Debated on - 16 Jul 2018
22 Dec 2018
closed 2 years ago

PETA, an organisation that is meant to be dedicated to protecting animals, has proposed to the UK government that it should add Staffordshire Bull Terriers to the dangerous dogs act, effectively banning them outright. Breed Specific Legislation is not the solution to the problem of dog attacks.

148,248
Petition Closed

Ban the sale of puppies by pet shops & all commercial 3rd party dealers.

Gov Responded - 20 Mar 2018 Debated on - 21 May 2018
1 Sep 2018
closed 2 years, 4 months ago

Removing puppies for sale from litter & mum often creates sick, traumatised, dysfunctional dogs. Puppies should be seen with their mum & transporting them to a different place for sale harms welfare. Regulating commercial 3rd party sales is ineffective to prevent harm & a ban is therefore necessary.

View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Petitions

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee Home Page

Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries, and the Select Committee will occasionally publish formal reports of their findings.


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Publications


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Written Questions

Written Questions are submitted by Members of Parliament and the House of Lords to receive information or updates from a Department.

Departments are required to respond in a timely fashion and provide a response or requested information. Written Questions can compel detailed and specific information to be produced, and are frequently used as the source of news stories about the work of a Department.

Latest Written Question
Date Title Questioner
19 Jan 2021, 5:32 p.m. Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated - Life peer) Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial viability of wildlife trusts and nature reserves.

Answered by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

My department constantly keeps under review the financial health of Defra-related sectors, including in relation to how sectors are faring in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Environmental charities and their partners are able to apply to the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, with the first successful applicants announced in December. The Government has committed a further £40m to the Green Recovery Challenge Fund in 2021/22, and my department will be announcing further details of a second round in the coming weeks.

Environmental charities have also been able to benefit from wider government financial support for businesses during Covid-19, including the Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended to the end of April 2021.

View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Written Question