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)

8 Apr 2021, 3:37 p.m.
Disturbance can have devastating impacts on marine mammals up and down our coastline. You can give marine wildlife space by: 🔭Watching from the shore 🛶Steering well clear 🐬Not swimming with dolphins 🛥️Using a #WiSeScheme boat operator #RudeToIntrude https://t.co/AuRaJBQGZp - Link
8 Apr 2021, 1:30 p.m.
Farmer Harry has been helping co-design our #FutureFarming schemes 🌱🚜 You can get involved too. Express an interest in joining the #SustainableFarmingIncentive pilot by 11 April 2021: https://t.co/8wLBnTznzc #TogetherForOurPlanet https://t.co/A2YeSs4CGt - 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
Mar. 04 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
May. 22 Urgent Questions Transport Emissions: Urban Areas
Jan. 27 Written Statements Bovine TB
Mar. 17 Westminster Hall Offshore Wind Farms: Unexploded Ordnance
Mar. 24 Adjournment Debate Waste Incinerators
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


This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 11th November 2020 and was enacted into law.


A bill to make provision in relation to fisheries, fishing, aquaculture and marine conservation; to make provision about the functions of the Marine Management Organisation; and for connected purposes

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 23rd November 2020 and was enacted into law.


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.


A Bill to make provision about targets, plans and policies for improving the natural environment; for statements and reports about environmental protection; for the Office for Environmental Protection; about waste and resource efficiency; about air quality; for the recall of products that fail to meet environmental standards; about water; about nature and biodiversity; for conservation covenants; about the regulation of chemicals; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - Report Stage (Commons)
Tuesday 26th January 2021
(Read Debate)

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

Dates Department Title Type
Laid
8 Apr 2021
In Force
30 Apr 2021
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Official Controls (Exemptions from Controls at Border Control Posts) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
These Regulations are made in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 48(b) and 144(6) of Regulation (EU) 2017/625 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products (EUR 2017/625).
Laid
31 Mar 2021
In Force
31 Mar 2021
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Trade and Official Controls (Transitional Arrangements for Prior Notifications) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
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)(d)) 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, 10 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, 3 months 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, 7 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

Departmental Select Committee

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Commons 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.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Neil Parish Portrait
Neil Parish (Conservative - Tiverton and Honiton)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 27 Jan 2020
Geraint Davies Portrait
Geraint Davies (Labour (Co-op) - Swansea West)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Dave Doogan Portrait
Dave Doogan (Scottish National Party - Angus)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Rosie Duffield Portrait
Rosie Duffield (Labour - Canterbury)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Neil Hudson Portrait
Neil Hudson (Conservative - Penrith and The Border)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Robbie Moore Portrait
Robbie Moore (Conservative - Keighley)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Sheryll Murray Portrait
Sheryll Murray (Conservative - South East Cornwall)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Julian Sturdy Portrait
Julian Sturdy (Conservative - York Outer)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Derek Thomas Portrait
Derek Thomas (Conservative - St Ives)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Ian Byrne Portrait
Ian Byrne (Labour - Liverpool, West Derby)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 11 May 2020
Barry Gardiner Portrait
Barry Gardiner (Labour - Brent North)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 8 Jun 2020
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee: Upcoming Events
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
<i>At 2.30pm: Oral evidence</i><br/>James Russell - President at British Veterinary Association (BVA)<br/>Stuart Roberts - Deputy President at National Farmers Union<br/>Victor Chestnutt - President at Ulster Farmers' Union<br/><i>At 3.30pm: Oral evidence</i><br/>Professor Tim Morris<br/>Mr James West - Senior Policy Manager UK at Compassion in World Farming<br/>Malcolm Mitchell - Professor of Physiology and Animal Welfare at Scottish Rural College<br/>
20 Apr 2021, 2 p.m.
Moving animals across borders
View calendar
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee - Private Meeting
22 Apr 2021, 1:30 p.m.
Seafood and Meat Exports to the EU
View calendar

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
16 Apr 2021, midnight Fishing Vessels: Humberside Karl Turner (Labour - Kingston upon Hull East)

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take to help secure (a) existing investment in the distant waters fishing fleet on Humberside and (b) future investment in that fleet and associated infrastructure; and what comparative assessment he has made between (i) the combined value of those investments and (ii) the cost of establishing the proposed freeport across the Humber ports.

Answered by Victoria Prentis - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Significant funding is being made available by government to improve the infrastructure needed for the fishing industry, improve sustainability and help it adapt as we move away from the CFP.

The Government has announced £32.7 million in funding to support the seafood sector which meets the Government’s manifesto commitment to maintain funding for the sector. The new domestic funding scheme in England, the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme, opened on 6 April. This scheme will support the long-term sustainable growth of the seafood sector and includes support to deliver improvements to vessels and to support port infrastructure.

In addition to this support, on Christmas Eve the Prime Minister announced a further £100 million that will support investment to modernise and rejuvenate the sector. This will include funding for infrastructure projects that support the development and modernisation of ports, harbours, and landing sites across the UK in order to land, process and market more sustainably managed fish.

The Government has also safeguarded investment in the sector by making up to £23 million available to support seafood businesses affected by the impact of Covid-19 and new trading conditions. With regards to the proposed freeport, no comparative assessment has been conducted. However, freeports will play a significant role in boosting trade, attracting inward investment and driving productive activity across the UK. This will level up communities across the country through increased employment opportunities. This is more important than ever as we begin to recover from the ongoing economic impacts of Covid-19.

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