Who we are

Diverse colleagues collaborating to protect our way of life.

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Who we are

Diverse colleagues collaborating to protect our way of life.

Our responsibilities are as varied and vital as the many lives, natural habitats and industries we protect. To reflect this, our workforce is equally diverse and critical.

From Policymakers to Project Managers, from Economists to Scientists, and from Communications Specialists to Commercial Advisors, Defra is home to many talented individuals. Each bring a unique mindset to what they do.

It takes all kinds of people, in all kinds of roles and from all walks of life to fulfil our unique purpose.

Together, we are constantly collaborating to arrive at better solutions for our environment, and the whole of the UK. This makes for truly fascinating work.

Our organisation

The Defra Group is a collection of government agencies and departments, working closely with different partners, industries and communities, across the country. As the world and political climate changes, we are tasked with finding innovative solutions to constantly evolving challenges.

Here is an overview of the different departments and agencies within the Defra Group.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This core ministerial department leads on a wide range of issues, and each one profoundly impacts on life in the UK. Join us here to help safeguard the natural environment, and the UK’s world-leading food and farming sectors. You could be doing anything from finding new ways to support the growth of a thriving rural economy, to developing effective defences against natural threats and hazards.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

Within the executive agency that is tasked with safeguarding animal and plant health, you could play a key role in the protection of endangered wildlife. Alternatively, you could be facilitating the international trade of animals and animal-based products. Or, you could be based within a laboratory, tackling farm animal diseases, or identifying endemic and exotic diseases and pests in animals, plants and bees.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA)

This agency supports the rural economy by administering all Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) schemes in England. As one of the founding policies of the original Common Market, CAP allows farmers to compete on a level playing field, as well as protecting prices, incomes and food security. Here, you’ll be on the team that is working to provide financial support to farmers, and aid economic growth across the UK’s food and farming industry.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD)

As part of the VMD, you will help assure the safety, quality and effectiveness of veterinary medicines, protecting animal and public health. Here, you could be working to assess applications and issue authorisations for companies to sell veterinary medicines in the UK, or control how they are made and distributed. You could even advise Ministers on developing related policy.

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)

CEFAS, our world leader in marine science and technology, is where you can be part of innovative solutions for the aquatic environment, biodiversity and food security. As the UK’s most diverse centre for applied marine and freshwater science and research, we cover an unrivalled breadth of specialist areas, which means you can work across everything from aquaculture to nuclear energy.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

At the MMO, we license and regulate marine activities in the seas around England and Wales to ensure they are carried out in a sustainable way. Join us here and you could help manage funding programmes for fisheries, or licensing for marine construction, deposits and dredging. You could even tackle marine pollution emergencies and prevent illegal or unregulated fishing.

Natural England

As the government’s adviser on the natural environment, our job is to ensure the UK’s countryside is conserved, enhanced and managed for present and future generations. As one of the team, you could be working to promote conservation, enhance the landscape, protect biodiversity, or encourage access to the countryside and open-air recreation.