Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Country: United Kingdom

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. We are a ministerial department, supported by 33 agencies and public bodies. 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 work with partners in the UK through networks such as the Global Food Security Programme (GFS) to co-ordinate research and innovation on food security and sustainability. We work across major public sector funders (Research Councils, Agencies, Government departments, and devolved administrations).  We participate in European Joint Programming Initiatives, such as that for Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (JPI-FACCE), as well participation in ERA-Net Co-funds, including on sustainable food production (SUSFOOD), sustainable crop production (SUSCROP), and this ERANET on Food Systems and Climate Change (FOSC).

Through the FOSC ERANET, we are looking to fund R&D that addresses policy priorities supporting increasing productivity sustainably with positive environmental impact. In framing research to help address a safe, secure and resilient food system, we have an interest in work which addresses the wider policy context in terms of productivity, sustainability and climate change goals, including the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and our Net-Zero GHG emissions 2050 target. Research taking a whole food systems approach and with a food supply chain perspective (e.g. food production, processing, manufacture, retail, and consumption) is of particular interest.