Defra, in partnership with its arms’ length bodies, publish a broad range of statistics and data on the environment, food, farming and biosecurity and marine. We see our statistics as a valuable public asset. Through them we seek to provide a window on the world across the areas covered by Defra’s policy and delivery remits and to inform the judgements and decisions made by the public, by organisations and by government.
Defra Group publish regular and ad hoc statistics which provide accurate and impartial information across four main themes. Browse our main portfolios:
- Food, Farming and BioSecurity
- Rural communities
A separate calendar of release dates across the group for the year ahead, providing a split by month, is available
We publish our national and official statistics guided by the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice for Statistics.
Many of these are National Statistics, identified by the round ‘tick’ logo with the words, ‘national statistics’, which are subject to assessment by the UK Statistics Authority. Reports of all assessments are published on the Authority’s website.
How we meet the standards of the Code
The arrangements we have in place to ensure we comply with the Code are set out in the documents below:
Defra Policy Statement on Revisions and Corrections
Pre-release access to official statistics
We publish details of how we comply with the Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Order 2008 and a list of the roles of those currently granted pre-release access to our key official statistics.
Developing our portfolios
Defra and Defra Group more broadly has a wide portfolio of statistics and our commitment is to the continued development of that portfolio. Informed by the Code of Practice for Statistics, much of our focus is on understanding of external user needs. We are building a range of approaches for this – including direct engagement (e.g. via the @DefraStats Twitter account) and through enhanced web analytics. We will continue to evolve in response to feedback by looking at accessibility of formats and continue to look for opportunities to increase value.
Looking further forward, we will continue to assess the opportunities provided by new technologies such as e-DNA and Earth observation.
Within each of our areas of interest, we will look to find the best long term balance between:
- Overall portfolio summary products such as the compendium of food and farming statistics.
- Continued production of regular individual official statistical releases on specific topics.
- Production of simpler more data focused releases (where user insight tells us that the external interest is in the numbers rather than the commentary).
Where we see the potential value of new official statistics products or developing existing products, we will look to use the mechanisms in the Code of Practice for Statistics. Specifically, we may introduce new Experimental statistics, where we decide to develop a new output or modify an existing one. Experimental statistics are by definition official statistics and are within the scope of the Code of Practice. During development, we seek feedback from users on their suitability and quality.
Another option open to us is to use the recently introduced Voluntary Application of the Code of Practice approach.
Across Defra group, the following experimental statistics are in development:
Within Defra group, we voluntarily apply the Code of Practice for Statistics in the following areas and have published statements of compliance describing how we apply the 3 pillars of Trustworthiness, Quality and Value:
Defra engages with users of our statistics on an ongoing basis to help us understand more about how our statistics are used and the decisions they inform. Our User Engagement Strategy sets out how we aim to enhance our relationship with our customers and use feedback to develop and improve our statistics portfolio.
Defra User Engagement Policy Statement
We always welcome feedback. You can use our Twitter account @DefraStats. Alternatively, there are mailboxes for individual topic areas provided in the How to contact us section below.
If you have a query about a specific publications, please use the contact details provided with the publication itself.
Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs
17 Smith Square
Defra helpline: 03459 33 55 77 (open Mon to Fri: 8am - 6pm)