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Who we are

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is part of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, which is a Government department responsible for improving and protecting the environment. Everything we do at the RPA promotes world class farming and land management for the environment, food, and rural resilience. We lead through our values in everything we do.

We are a voice for farmers and land managers, we encourage sustainable and profitable farming, and are a delivery agency for Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

If you join the RPA you will be part of a team of people who make payments to farmers, traders and land owners as well as supporting our financial and agricultural schemes to: support agriculture, deliver environmental sustainability, deliver economic growth, enable innovation and facilitate community activities.

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What we do

We maintain standards

Our Rural Development Programme focuses on ensuring we maintain the highest standards of:

  • Animal health and welfare
  • Food quality and
  • Environmental outcomes

We maintain the accuracy of approximately 2.5 million land parcels covering around 9 million hectares which equates to 93% of all rural land in England.

We protect our environment

Our Environmental Stewardship scheme provides an additional £170 million for work undertaken to promote environmental outcomes in a range of habitats. Our Countryside Stewardship scheme provides over £129 million of financial reimbursement annually to farmers and landowners for work undertaken to promote environmental outcomes.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme which will reward farmers for managing their land in an environmentally sustainable way is also being introduced.

We support communities

We provide over £38 million of financial support each year to Fruit and Vegetables Producer Organisations covering all of the UK’s overall production. We trace animals to protect consumers by making sure that products in the human food chain are safe. Tracing animals helps to control and eradicate bovine diseases such as Bovine Tuberculosis, Bovine Viral Diarrhoea and foot and mouth diseases. We help over 14,500 schools across Great Britain to provide subsidised milk, yoghurt and yoghurt products to their pupils.

Why we do it

Its a really exciting time to join the RPA as there are lots of changes since we have left the EU and even more to do to support farmers and land managers. We want to put British farming at the forefront of environmental good practice, support net zero and enhance our beautiful natural environment. We will also drive the nation's sustainable recovery from the impacts of Covid-19, and support the Government’s agenda to level up and build back better for all.

We are focused on delivering our outcomes as well as have a collective commitment to how we work according to our values.

  • Visible leadership in every role.
  • Engaging effectively with our customers.
  • Respectful behaviours for healthy workplaces.
  • Inclusive culture leading to opportunities for all.
  • Trusted reputation internally & externally.
  • Accountable to each other and communities we serve.
  • Supportive. Everything is underpinned by our supportive Learning and Development to enable our people to grow.
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