Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Coronavirus

(asked on 11th February 2021) - View Source

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what (a) policies and (b) grant and funding programmes his Department has introduced to provide support to individuals and organisations in response to the covid-19 outbreak; and what funding has been allocated to each of those programmes in the 2020-21 financial year.

Answered by
Victoria Prentis Portrait
Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
This question was answered on 26th February 2021

Since March the Government’s priority has been to save lives and protect jobs, businesses, and livelihoods. To support workers and businesses across all sectors the Government has provided an unprecedented package of support worth more than £280 billion.

My Department has introduced a number of support packages to avoid the loss of productive capacity, prevent disproportionate harm to the economy or society and to protect vulnerable groups against the effects of Covid-19. These are as follows:

  1. Clinical Extremely Vulnerable individuals – in March 2020, Defra put in place £212m of packages to support individuals defined as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. This included food boxes delivered to those that were shielding and the set-up of the National Shielding helpline.
  2. Food for economically vulnerable individuals – In April 2020, Defra secured funding, via a DCMS managed scheme for the voluntary and charity sectors, to support the distribution of grants worth £16m to front line charities who were best placed to respond to the immediate needs of economically vulnerable people. The majority of this funding was provided to FareShare. In November 2020, building on the support given to the most vulnerable during the initial months of the pandemic, the Government announced a winter support package of interventions to support the economically vulnerable. The winter package included a further £16m of funding for Defra to support food charities with the purchasing and distribution of food to the vulnerable over a 16-week period starting from the beginning of December. This funding stream is being managed by the food redistributor FareShare.
  3. The Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant – a further scheme to support people struggling to afford food and other essential supplies was announced on 10 June 2020. The £63m package of support was distributed to Local Authorities to make discretionary one-off emergency payments to people in their communities in need.
  4. Emergency surplus food grant – In April 2020, through the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), Defra launched a series of grant opportunities to support the redistribution of surplus food to those most in need. Defra made £3.25m available for this Covid-19 emergency grant. The primary focus of the fund is to enable not-for-profit organisations both large and small to overcome barriers to the distribution of surplus food that would otherwise be wasted in the wake of Covid-19.
  5. Zoo Animals Fund – In May 2020 the Government launched the Zoo Support Fund. This initial £14 million envelope for zoos was increased to up to £100 million (with final expenditure subject to zoos’ submitting successful applications) in August 2020 when the Zoo Support Fund was replaced by the Zoo Animals Fund. These funds have been created for the purpose of providing for zoos which, due to a coronavirus-related drop in income, are experiencing severe financial difficulties and need support in caring for their animals. These funds were introduced to ensure the welfare of zoo animals, including when zoos are closing, downsizing or rehoming their collections.
  6. Fisheries Response Fund (FRF) – The FRF provided up to £9 million in funding for catching and aquaculture businesses with payments to individual businesses capped at £10k. The FRF covered fixed costs for the period April to June 2020. A further £1 million was also made available for projects to encourage domestic selling through the Domestic Seafood Supply scheme.
  7. Seafood Response Fund (SRF) – The SRF was announced on 21 February to support catching and shellfish aquaculture businesses across the UK which continue to be impacted by Covid-19. The scheme will be similar to the FRF, providing grants to eligible businesses to assist them in covering their fixed costs for the period January-March 2021. Further details are expected shortly, with the scheme opening to applications in early March.
  8. Dairy Response Fund (DRF) – The DRF was a fund to provide support to eligible dairy farmers in England who have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. Eligible farmers were entitled to up to £10,000 each to cover 70% of their losses incurred across April and May as a result of a drop in price. The fund opened on 18 June 2020 and closed on 11 September 2020. The DRF paid 132 farmers a total of £1,017,250.
  9. Changes to the Textile Grant Fund – Defra also worked with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to alter the requirements of the Textile Grant Fund so that the grant could be used for capital costs to reconfigure a business to comply with Covid-19 safety measures, where this forms an integral part of an innovative proposal/project; and to streamline the application process so that these funds could be allocated more quickly.
  10. Arms length bodies – A number of Defra arms-length bodies including RGB Kew and the Forestry Commission have been seriously impacted by the pandemic, in particular through a significant reduction in revenue generating activity. We have worked closely with HMT to address this and provided additional budget cover of £19m to provide some protection and a viable operating model going into 21/22.
  11. Green Recovery Challenge Fund – This fund enabled environmental charities and their partners to kick-start a range of nature projects that had been adversely affected by the pandemic. Funding was made available quickly in order to create and retain jobs in the nature sector. £40m was allocated to the fund in 20/21.
  12. European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) – £800k was also made available in England through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19. This included £300k for improvements to health and safety on board fishing vessels and £500k for ports or harbour infrastructure projects which reduce the impact of Covid-19. This funding has now been committed and is no longer open to new applications.

In addition, Defra has worked with delivery bodies and partners to introduce a number of regulatory easements to ensure regulatory obligations remain proportionate in these challenging circumstances, including in the areas of veterinary medicines, environmental regulations and marketing standards inspections. Specific interventions were also made with key Departments to ease regulations to support food supply, including competition law exclusions and driver hours flexibilities.

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
Recent Documents related to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Coronavirus

1. Departmental Overview: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2019-20
19/02/2021 - National Audit Office

Found: Departmental Overview 2019-20 Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs February 2021 This overview

2. Report - Overview of the UK government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
21/05/2020 - National Audit Office

Found: government™s response to the COVID-19 pandemic HC 366 SESSION 2019Œ2021 21 MAY 2020 A picture of the

3. MHCLG 2020-21 Main Estimates Memorandum
05/05/2020 - Inquiry: MHCLG 2020-21 Main Estimates Memorandum - Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
- View source

Found: Communities a nd Local Government Main Estimate 2020 - 21 : Estimates M emora n dum 1. Overview

4. Bill 273 2019-21 (large print)
10/03/2021 - Bill Documents

Found: Norman has made the following statement under section 19(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998: In my view the

5. Kew Gardens (Leases) (No. 3) Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages
01/05/2019 - Parliamentary Research

Found: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, introduced the bill in the House

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Coronavirus

1. Oral Answers to Questions
19/10/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: constituency on 5 October. The scheme has £238 million of funding that is dedicated to helping people who have been - Speech Link
2: work will require a national effort, so will he provide a broader update on the roll-out of the scheme - Speech Link
3: is right to suggest that tackling the impacts of covid will require a national effort, and the DWP stands - Speech Link

2. Oral Answers to Questions
26/11/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: representatives from (a) fishing communities and (b) the fish processing sector on the potential effect - Speech Link
2: the high price that is sometimes paid for putting food on our plates at home.Non-tariff barriers - Speech Link
3: are a huge concern for the sheep sector, so the Secretary of State’s suggestion that sheep farmers could - Speech Link

3. Oral Answers to Questions
30/11/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: grace period in the coming month. So will the Secretary of State consider extending the grace period, to avoid - Speech Link
2: particularly those supported by the £170 million covid winter grant, from which I understand her local council - Speech Link
3: they have to do is show that the support they provide is more than minimal, and this is causing misery - Speech Link

4. Oral Answers to Questions
25/01/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: taken to provide financial support to disabled people who are required to shield during the national lockdown - Speech Link
2: taken to provide financial support to disabled people who are required to shield during the national lockdown - Speech Link
3: furloughed may be eligible for a range of other financial support, including statutory sick pay and new-style - Speech Link

5. Oral Answers to Questions
23/11/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: self-isolate and from unfunded covid-19 cleaning costs. More than a quarter of all state schools are using reserve - Speech Link
2: Can the Secretary of State say how many pupils have been sent home from school for covid-related reasons - Speech Link
3: and we are working with the sector, so we can provide her with that detail and will send it on to her - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Coronavirus
1. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Horizon 2020
asked by: Helen Goodman
... who in her Department is responsible for assessing whether grant applications for Horizon 2020 funding are (a) value for money and (b) in line with Government objectives.

Latest Questions