About us

We pay out over £2 billion each year to support a thriving farming and food sector.

As the paying agency for the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) schemes in England, we make payments to farmers, traders and land owners. We also make payments on behalf of Natural England, and manage over 40 schemes to help ensure we have a healthy rural economy and strong rural communities.

Who we are

Our headquarters are in Reading, and we have major offices in Carlisle, Exeter, Newcastle, Workington and York, and we employ around 2,300 staff.

Responsibilities

We’re responsible for:

  • measures to boost the productivity of the farming industry,
  • helping to assure the provenance of our food, and contribute to the control of disease in livestock, through the monitoring of cattle movement and inspections of abattoirs and meat cutting plants,
  • delivery of subsidies and other payments to support our farming and food industry and incentivise environmental outcomes,
  • providing import and export licenses for the agri-food sector,
  • providing subsidies to encourage uptake of milk in schools,
  • supporting free flow of trade through provision of certificates of free sale,
  • helping to regulate the markets for dairy and farm produce,
  • helping to boost the rural economy through rural development schemes and management of various funding schemes, such as the roll-out of super-fast rural broadband,
  • manage customer contact for a wide range of Defra group services.

Corporate information

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