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Environment & Food

Almost 8,000 Prospect members work in environment and food in a variety of key roles

Prospect's members in environment and food use their expertise to develop and deliver policy and carry out vital scientific research. Ironically a government that claimed to be the ‘greenest ever’ has reserved some of its harshest spending cuts for the environment, including a 29 per cent cut to the budget of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


One of the union’s biggest branches, Efra, covers people in core Defra and a number of agencies and non-departmental public bodies looking after:

  • the natural environment, biodiversity, plants and animals
  • sustainable development and the green economy
  • food, farming and fisheries
  • environmental protection and pollution control
  • rural communities and issues.

Prospect is also the union for scientists and managers employed by the research councils, themselves facing harsh cuts in their capital budgets.

At the Natural Environment Research Council, members are involved in tackling issues such as climate change, biodiversity and natural hazards.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council supports world-class research in areas such as the impact of climate change, a healthier old age, sustainable food production, land use and energy production.

We also represent staff in the Environment Agency, the Forestry Commission and people transferred to universities from various research institutes, including research scientists.

Other workplaces in England and Wales dealing with environmental issues include Natural Resources Wales, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, Ordnance Survey, National Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

In Scotland, Prospect has members in Scotland's Rural College, the James Hutton Institute, Scottish Natural Heritage, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and National Trust for Scotland.