Who we are

Join us at the heart of change.

Defra Who we Are Mobile Banner

Who we are

Join us at the heart of change.

The Defra Group

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

Defra’s core Ministerial department leads on a wide range of issues that profoundly impact on the lives of everyone in the UK. Our responsibilities include the safeguarding of the natural environment, the provision of support to the UK’s world-leading food and farming sectors, the growth of a thriving rural economy and to lead on the development of effective defences against natural threats and hazards across the country.

As an organisation focused on outcomes, we are constantly challenging ourselves and continually striving to be the best. We do this to realise our vision; to create a great place for living for people in this country.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

APHA is an Executive Agency of Defra and was created in 2014 following a merger of several other agencies. At APHA our mission is to safeguard animal and plant health for the benefit of people, the environment and the economy.

Our responsibilities include the identification and control of endemic and exotic diseases and pests in animals, plants and bees, the facilitation of international trade in animals, products of animal origin and plants, and the protection of endangered wildlife through licensing and registration. We also act as an international reference laboratory for many farm animal diseases and regulate the safe disposal of animal by-products to reduce the risk of potentially dangerous substances entering the food chain.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA)

The RPA plays an important role in supporting a thriving rural economy by administering all Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) schemes in England. These schemes provide support and services focused on helping economic growth in the food and farming industry.

As a consequence of EU Exit we will continue to administer all CAP schemes whilst continuing our transformation to become a more modern, open and resilient organisation with improved customer outcomes. We will continue to work closely with the European Union whilst preparing for a smooth transition following the UK’s exit from the EU.