About us

Scotland’s experts on farmer co-ops and food industry collaboration, we provide a range of specialist information and development services to help businesses work together more effectively. #workingtogether we grow

What we do

Now more than ever, it’s vital for farmers and food and drink businesses to work together more effectively - all of SAOS’s work centres on facilitating this.


As a development organisation, owned by our members, we provide a range of specialist services not available elsewhere, to assist them in developing their people and their businesses. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.

What's New

Latest news, views and updates from us here at SAOS.

Marketing and Member Engagement

14 November 2023

10:00am - 4:00pm

The Landmark Hotel and Leisure Club, Kingsway West, Dundee, DD2 5JT

Workshop Overview

Treat your members the way you would like to be treated and ensure they are loyal, committed and involved in your co-op. Customer experience is so important with research revealing that most people who have had a bad experience or service will share information on this experience with at least nine others whilst people who receive excellent service will share with around only four others. It's imperative that your co-op gets it right. 

What are your members saying about your organisation, how will you find new members and how can you strengthen your brand? This Marketing and Member Engagement workshop will enable your co-op to develop a better understanding of what your members need and how those needs might be satisfied. It will also highlight the key principles of communication and how they can be utilised to present a positive business brand and image. 

Who should attend?

New directors and directors who haven’t undertaken this training in the past five years, co-op managers, assistant managers, and other interested staff.

Learning Outcomes

  • An understanding of the 7 Ps of the marketing mix related to your co-op and the products and services it provides to members
  • The importance of people within your organisation and how they impact on what members think about your co-op
  • Knowledge of the foundation blocks of good service, the use of surveys to help understand what members want and developing service quality charters
  • The communication process and the tools you can use, member meetings, the AGM, newsletters, your website, email, social media etc
  • How to review, improve and plan your communications encompassing the key tests of cost, control, credibility, and interactivity

Workshop Facilitator

The workshop will be delivered by SAOS Project Manager, Hamish Walls


Hamish has over 40 years’ experience working in the agriculture and food industries starting his career on a dairy farm followed by employment with an agricultural supply business (Scottish Agricultural Industries). Before working for SAOS he was a sales director with HO Short and Sons a specialist flour milling company supplying cereal ingredients to the food sector. In SAOS, Hamish has widespread expertise in helping new and existing collaborative enterprises amalgamate their activities to bring greater scale and diversity, carrying out feasibility evaluations, developing business plans and drafting partnership agreements. Hamish has a BSc Hons in Agriculture from Newcastle (1984) University and a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (2011).


SAOS members - £200 + VAT, Non-Members £250 + VAT


E allison.watson@saos.coop M 07548215669