Daniel Zeichner has been appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) today (Monday, July 8).

The MP for Cambridge had been Shadow Minister for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs since January 2020 and had previously been Shadow Transport Minister.

He has been described by the Labour Party as “a life-long environmentalist, with an enduring interest in agriculture and food issues”.

Zeichner joins Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Steve Reed, the MP for Streatham and Croydon North, as the two ministers now at DEFRA.


The DEFRA Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Minister of State at the department had their first face-to-face meeting with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) today at Westminster.

NFU president Tom Bradshaw said he was looking forward to building on the union’s “strong engagement to date with Labour ministers to discuss essential policy solutions on key issues for our members”.

“Critically, this will include securing the investment required to deliver for food security and the legislated environmental targets, as well as bovine TB, seasonal workers and import controls,” the NFU president stated.

According to the NFU other topics that were high on the agenda during the meeting included “reforms required around planning policy to enable investment in the infrastructure on farm that will mitigate environmental risk, drive productivity and deliver for food security”.

A report, commissioned by the NFU, and produced by the Andersons Centre, has indicated that an annual agriculture budget in the region of £4 billion is needed for England.

Including the needs of devolved governments, the NFU estimates this would translate to a UK-wide budget of around £5.6 billion.

The NFU president has described the new Labour government as a “reset moment” for agriculture in the UK and said farmers and growers need “practical policies that revitalise farm business confidence”.