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.


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.


Smart Rural
Through SmartRural, SAOS has initiated a nationwide project that will help farmers capture and access data to help make better decisions and improve business returns. Conducting business in rural areas is often held back by limited or non-existent digital connectivity.

Through SmartRural’s new digital infrastructure, those living and working in rural areas could benefit from the digital innovations currently only available in cities. SmartRural is a user-owned co-op, whose objective is to deliver connectivity across the whole of rural Scotland, gathering data through a new telecoms infrastructure. As a co-op, the ownership, control and value of the data gathered are all retained by the farmer members who generate it.

The Internet of Things
SmartRural uses the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) to transfer data over a network. The IoT refers to network connectivity using objects, sensors and everyday items, such as a gate or a water trough, or a neck collar on a cow. These devices are then enabled to automatically generate and transmit

Using wireless communication that allows IoT devices to communicate over large distances with minimal battery usage also means that the system is also comparatively inexpensive. And it’s not only farmers who could benefit, the possible uses for the system are limited only by our imagination.

For example, to monitor flooding in cattle barns - whether from external sources or broken water pipes, flooding can quickly lead to sodden bedding and animal welfare issues. A simple device could detect uncontrolled or leaking water in a normally dry environment and alert the farmer.

Through SmartRural, gathering data that helps improve your business or simplify daily life is easy, even in the most rural of locations where conventional communication systems cannot reach.

More info
If you’d like to know more about SmartRural or would like to be involved in the project, contact one of the team for help.

SmartRural Newsletter Pdf

Watch our SmartRural Video