What we do
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is an Executive Agency of Defra. It is the paying agency for all Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) schemes in England including the Single Payment Scheme.
RPA operates as a paying agency on a UK basis for all trader-based CAP schemes on behalf of Defra and Devolved administrations, including: export refunds, import & export licences, milk quotas and a range of market schemes covering dairy products, crops and fruit and vegetables; and across Great Britain for school milk payments.
The Agency also makes payments for Rural Development Schemes including Environmental Stewardship schemes, made on behalf of Natural England and the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). In total last year alone, over 300,000 payments were made to its customers including over 125,000 payments (over 98% with agreed targets) on behalf of Natural England and the RDAs.
RPA also operates cattle tracing services across Great Britain; conducts over 23,000 inspections each year at sites including farms, processing plants and fresh produce markets in England; and manages the Rural Land Register, Defra’s database of land used for all land-based CAP schemes which contains around 2.4million land parcels.
The overall policy and financial framework within which RPA operates is determined by The Secretary of State, Defra. The Chief Executive is responsible for the day to day management of RPA supported by a senior management team.
Page published: 14 February 2013