The Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR)
SCAR – established in 1974 – was given a renewed mandate by the Council in 2005 to play a major role in the coordination of agricultural research efforts across the European Research Area.
The ‘new’ SCAR is made up of the 27 EU Member States, with representatives from Candidate and Associated Countries as observers.
Agricultural practices and production processes are now set in a wide context – that of achieving real sustainability in a broad sense and responding directly to the concerns of European consumers.
Agriculture must cope with new pressures, for example with environmental demands, changes in rural policy and rural communities, the rise of non-food agricultural production, landscape management, biodiversity, and conservation issues.
Agricultural research must respond to the demands of CAP reform and enlargement.
In light of these demands and challenges, SCAR looks beyond the narrow aspects of research relating to production. It encompasses the so-called ‘fork-to-farm’ concept, emphasising research for sustainable agriculture, including biodiversity and rural development.
Adopting a holistic approach, SCAR addresses major sectors within the concept of a ‘knowledge-based bio-economy’ For example: animal health and welfare, consumer issues relating to the quality, safety and security of food production and supply, issues of consumer behaviour towards food, nutrition, retailing and markets, and how these impact on agro-food research, and issues related to developments in non-traditional and non-food areas of agricultural activity, including forestry.
Adopting this broader interpretation of the term ‘agricultural research’ will enable the SCAR to take into account all relevant international and European regulations and important trends.
SCAR assists the Commission, other institutions and the Member States by providing an assessment of the relevance of these topics, including socio-economic impacts, advice on research priority-setting at the European level and on related actions that would provide better coordination of support for evidence-based policy-making.