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About Defra

Defra is 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 Purpose

Our broad remit means we play a major role in people’s day-to-day lives, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.

We are here to make our air purer, our water cleaner, our land greener and our food more sustainable.

Our mission is to restore and enhance the environment for the next generation, leaving it in a better state than we found it.

Our Priority Outcomes

  • Improve the environment through cleaner air and water, minimised waste, and thriving plant and terrestrial and marine wildlife
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon storage in the agricultural, waste, peat and tree planting sectors to help deliver net zero
  • Reduce the likelihood and impact of flooding and coastal erosion on people, businesses, communities and the environment
  • Increase the sustainability, productivity and resilience of the agriculture, fishing, food and drink sectors, enhance biosecurity at the border and raise animal welfare standards

Our Structure

Defra is a ministerial department, supported by 34 agencies and public bodies. See agencies here

Although Defra only works directly in England, it works closely with the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and generally leads on negotiations in the EU and internationally.