About us

Scotland’s experts on farmer co-ops and food industry collaboration, we work with food and farming businesses to make them more profitable, competitive, and sustainable - working together to shape the future, today. #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.

Events & Training

Developing staff capability is one of the most effective ways to improve a co-op’s performance. Check out our events and training programme - most of which are open to non co-op members too.


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

See below for all the latest news, views and updates from us here at SAOS. Find all our latest videos on YouTube at: SAOS - working together in food and farming

Global co-operation

  • Co-operatives provide jobs or work opportunities to 10% of the world’s employed population. 
  • The three hundred top co-operatives or co-operative groups generate $2.1 trillion.
  • Co-ops come in all sizes, and operate in all sectors - from tiny fairtrade producers, to FC Barcelona
  • Co-operation is widespread across the globe, but it all began in the UK in 1844 with a group of artisans, the Rochdale Pioneers, who pooled together to improve their lot. You can watch a video about the Rochdale Pioneers and the co-operative movement here.
  • Co-operatives bring people together in a democratic and equal way. Whether the members are the customers, employees, users or residents, co-operatives are democratically managed by the 'one member, one vote' rule, regardless of the amount of capital they put in
  • Through self-help and empowerment, reinvesting in their communities and concern for the well-being of people and the world in which we live, co-ops nurture a long-term vision for sustainable economic growth, social development and environmental responsibility.

Find out more in our Co-op FAQs.

Other great sources for more information are our sister organisations:

The International Co-operative Alliance, which represents and serves co-operatives around the world www.ica.co-op.
Co-operatives UK is the umbrella body for all co-ops in the UK https://www.uk.coop/