About us

SAOS was established in 1905 to strengthen the profitability and effectiveness of Scotland’s farming and rural businesses through co-operation.

What we do

We are Scotland’s experts on farmer co-ops and food industry collaboration. We provide a range of specialist information, development and consultancy services.

Membership

We are a development organisation owned by our members. We provide a range of specialist services that our members have requested, that are not available elsewhere. Discover how we can help you.

Scottish Potato Co-op

The Scottish Potato Co-op is SAOS’s newest member.

The Scottish Potato Co-op Limited is a new co-op formed in 2019. It involves 17 progressive potato growers largely based in Angus and Fife, growing more than 3,000 acres (60,000t) of ware potatoes for the supermarket trade.

What are we doing?

The co-op is a member of SAOS and has been set up as a formally constituted co-operative, registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. With formal ‘rules’ of operation and individual agreements, member growers have a business that has an appropriate governance structure, and is democratic, with transparent procedures which protect the rights of the individual members.

Why?

It is an opportunity for members to take more control of their destiny. Formed as a collaborative marketing co-op to create a more orderly, planned and stable marketing process, it also creates an economy of scale through growers working together. In doing so this also reduces individual grower risk through the pooling of resources and capital.

What impact?

Through their appointed marketing agent, the co-op negotiates forward contracts and is able to market surplus and ‘class 2’ crops more effectively. From the synergies created by working together, the prospects for overall returns to grower members will be improved. In an increasingly competitive market, this will provide a sustainable future for the members and improve their offering to their customers.

What did SAOS do?

  • scoping out the commercial potential for the business

  • holding meetings with growers to talk through the process

  • producing an investment prospectus for potential member applications

  • developing the co-op’s governance and ‘rules’ (constitution)

  • registering the co-op with the FCA

  • brokering operational arrangements between growers

  • producing legal agreements for both members and the marketing agent.

  • undertaking director governance training

  • providing company secretarial and support services