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 MP
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Ministers of State
Rt Hon Zac Goldsmith MP - Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Victoria Prentis MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Rebecca Pow MP - 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)

17 Sep 2020, 6:41 p.m.
An Asian hornet nest has been found and destroyed in the Gosport area of Hampshire. The #AsianHornet is a serious threat to honey bees and other insect pollinators. Please report any sightings using the Asian Hornet Watch app. For further information: https://t.co/O6jaGg5cJl https://t.co/oIgCsN8p9z https://t.co/MTZ69Gcneq - Link
16 Sep 2020, 9:45 a.m.
Today is #WorldOzoneDay2020!☀️ Did you know that it was British scientists who first discovered the Antarctic #ozone hole in the 1980s? Thanks to the #MontrealProtocol, the ozone layer is gradually recovering. We continue to monitor it through @metoffice @OfficialUoM funding. https://t.co/yqtKKv0NtS - Link
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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
Sep. 10 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
May. 22 Urgent Questions Transport Emissions: Urban Areas
Mar. 16 Westminster Hall Sentience and Welfare of Animals
Sep. 15 Adjournment Debate Michelham Priory
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

Title Last Event Next Event Date Last Updated
Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) Act 2020 Royal Assent (Minutes of Proceedings) 30 January, 2020 31 Jan 2020, 9:30 a.m.
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.

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

Dates Department Title Type
Laid
16 Sep 2020
In Force
Not stated
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Fertilisers and Ammonium Nitrate Material (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
These Regulations are made in exercise of the power conferred by section 41(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 (c. 1).
Laid
27 Aug 2020
In Force
1 Oct 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Waste (Circular Economy) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
These Regulations implement for England and Wales, and partially implement for Scotland and Northern Ireland, 6 amending EU Directives in the field of waste, namely Directive (EU) 2018/849 (OJ No L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 93), Directive (EU) 2018/850 (OJ No L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 100), Directive (EU) 2018/851 (OJ No L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 109), Directive (EU) 2018/852 (OJ No L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 141), Commission Delegated Directive (EU) 2020/362 (OJ No L 67, 5.3.2020, p. 116) and Commission Delegated Directive (EU) 2020/363 (OJ L No 67, 5.3.2020, p. 119) (“the amending Directives”).
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, 3 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 1 year, 9 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 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
17 Sep 2020, 5:54 p.m. Flood Control: South Yorkshire Stephanie Peacock

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings he has held with regional stakeholders in South Yorkshire on (a) the winter 2019 floods and (b) flood defence support in the last 12 months.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, local communities and businesses and sympathises with all those affected. Following the winter 2019-20 flooding, the Secretary of State, myself and the department have been actively engaging with regional stakeholders.

As Minister for floods I engaged in a Westminster Hall debate focused on the flooding in South Yorkshire over the winter. This was attended by the hon Members for Barnsley East, Kingston upon Hull North, Rother Valley, Newport West, and the Rt Hon Member for Doncaster North. I have also met with the hon Member for Don Valley to discuss the impact of the winter floods and Sheffield City region's planned investment programme.

A number of hon Members from South Yorkshire have also written to Defra since November 2019. These include the hon Members for Barnsley Central, Don Valley, Rother Valley, and the Rt Hon Members for Doncaster North and Wentworth and Dearne.

Recently South Yorkshire, Sheffield, Upper Don Valley and the Upper Don Catchment NFM programme schemes received an allocation of the £170 million announced on 14 July, £15.4 million for the Sheffield Upper Don scheme and £600,000 for the NFM programme. Following this announcement, I met with the Member for Penistone & Stocksbridge to discuss flooding.

I have been in contact with hon Members from the South Yorkshire area on the issue of a round table and I expect to be able to confirm a date very soon.

Additionally, my officials have been engaging actively with eligible local authorities on the Property Flood Resilience Fund to provide clarity on the guidance for these schemes and to provide clarity on delivery questions.

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