Steve Reed appointed DEFRA Secretary

Steve Reed MP as Secretary of State for Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), a role he has shadowed since September 2023.

Steve Reed MP DEFRA Minister

Previously Shadow Justice Secretary, Steve Reed has been the MP for Croydon North, now the newly created seat of Streatham and Croydon North. Reed has served as Leader of Lambeth Council, having represented the Brixton Hill ward, and was deputy leader of Labour Local Government. In 2013, he was awarded the OBE for services to local government. Prior to entering politics, his professional background was in educational publishing.

Commenting on the appointment of Reed OBE MP as the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Fran Barnes, Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) Chief Executive, said:

“We congratulate and welcome Steve Reed OBE MP as the Environment Secretary. We are keen to work in a positive partnership to ensure the voice of environmental horticulture is heard at the heart of government. Together, we share the ambitions of the UK increasing green growth, achieving net zero and boosting our urban areas and health and wellbeing. By backing horticulture, we are backing the original green industry, which can deliver so much.

“Our role is crucial in supporting Defra’s flagship ambitions for the environment, and I hope that the significance of environmental horticulture won’t be underestimated. Our sector can provide a policy solution to the environmental challenge the government will need to take action on. Defra should now recognise the value of environmental horticulture by embracing the recommendations from the House of Lords Horticulture Committee Inquiry and swiftly addressing the concerns related to border trade, enabling our tree and plant growers to import crucial plant products without unnecessary uncertainties and burdens.

“We look forward to welcoming Steve Reed and his team to visit our members firsthand to see how environmental horticulture businesses are delivering for the UK, to understand the potential for green growth, and to gain a deeper understanding of their challenges. We also look forward to discussing our Environmental Horticulture Manifesto with him and exploring key themes such as maximising the value of green spaces and urban greening, having a world-class plant health regime, the importance of a specific plant health agreement or SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) agreement with the EU and the support required for the sustainable transition to peat-free among the key asks.”