The Ministry of Agriculture (MAFF) is set to merge with elements of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) in a reshuffle initiative by the freshly re-elected Labour government.
The new department, to be called the Ministry of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (MEFRA), will be led by Margaret Beckett. In addition to MAFF personnel, it will also employ around 600 of the civil servants currently working for the DETR. Former MAFF minister Nick Brown has been removed from the Cabinet and will now take on the role of Minister of Work.
Farmers are reportedly disappointed that the department will not use the word “Agriculture” in its title. According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper however they are pleased to know that the government appreciates the importance of “Food” to the country’s economy.