Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra IS the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting the UK’s world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Defra’s very broad remit means it plays a major role in all our day-to-day lives, from the food we eat and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.


  • Helping Defra tackle complexity
    During 2019 and 2021, Risk Solutions as part of a CECAN Ltd team helped develop the Complexity Evaluation Framework and the Theory of Change Toolkit to help Defra policy-makers, analysts and commissioners navigate the complexity inherent in their work.
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  • Water Abstraction Reform
    Risk Solutions helped Defra design and test changes to the regime that govern how users can abstract water from rivers and ground water aquifers, in response to increasing pressures from demographic and climate change. We managed a multi-disciplinary team that engaged water users, environmental groups and regulators in the construction of an integrated water ...
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  • Foot and Mouth
    Following the 2001 outbreak of FMD, Defra imposed a 20-day standstill period prohibiting any livestock movements off-farm following the arrival of an animal. The 20-day rule caused significant difficulties for farmers. The Lessons Learned Inquiry, which reported in July 2002, recommended that the 20-day standstill remain in place pending a detailed cost-benefit analysis of the ...
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