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)

15 Jan 2021, 1:45 p.m.
Do you move agrifood goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland? Now that the UK has left the EU there are new rules to follow. Make sure you’re prepared. Act now: https://t.co/mmhAZBx8lg https://t.co/SXDVq32RvF - Link
15 Jan 2021, 12:21 p.m.
If you need to go out to buy food and essential items Shop safely by following these steps 👇🏼 Share to support #coronavirus https://t.co/fRZgcj0rrF - 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. 12 Adjournment Debate South Downs National Park: 10th Anniversary
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
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.
Laid
4 Jan 2021
In Force
1 Jan 2021
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Meat Preparations (Amendment and Transitory Modification) (England) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
Explanatory text not available
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
15 Jan 2021, 2:52 p.m. Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru - Dwyfor Meirionnydd) Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru - Dwyfor Meirionnydd)

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimates she has made of how much and what proportion of soy imported into the UK has been produced on illegally deforested land for the most recent period in which that information is available.

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

In 2019, the UK imported soya and soybean products equivalent to 3.5 million tonnes of soybeans. When combined with the volume of embedded soya imported into the UK, for example in animals fed on soya, the total consumption is equivalent to the import of around 4.2 million tonnes of soybean.

In 2018, the Government convened the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soya for industry actors to work together towards the common goal of legal and sustainable soya. Since the Roundtable’s inception, the UK has doubled the proportion of soya imports which are certified as sustainable in a two-year period, from 15% in 2017 to 32% (1.12 million tonnes) in 2019. If we also include soya sourced from areas that are considered at low risk of tropical deforestation, such as North America, and soya covered by the Amazon Soy Moratorium contract, we calculate that 62% of soya (2.17 million tonnes) consumed in the UK is either covered by a deforestation and conversion free standard or comes from an area where there is a low risk of deforestation linked to production.

The Government recognises that voluntary commitments by businesses have not been sufficient to tackle deforestation and is committed to ensuring there is no place for illegally produced commodities on our supermarket shelves. That is why we have introduced a world-leading due diligence law through the Environment Bill. The law will prohibit larger businesses from using commodities produced on land occupied or used illegally and make it mandatory for businesses to conduct due diligence on their supply chains. Once operational, it will help to eradicate illegal deforestation from our supply chains.

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