About us

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

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.

Membership

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

What's New

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

What does innovation look like?

Co-operation and co-ops are ideally placed to drive forward innovation and supply chain relationships that enable shared risk-taking and scalability, both amongst farmers and in their connections with supply chain customers.

These examples provide just an indication of the variety and scope of innovation projects in co-ops:

  • The six Focus Farms in the ANM Group/Farmers Journal Farm Profit Programme experienced an average increase in gross margin/cow of £115 in year one. Weekly updates on the Focus Farms’ progress are now reaching 2,000 article views per week, proving an effective route for knowledge exchange between livestock producers.
  • Farm Stock Scotland, in collaboration with supply chain partners, is working to identify farm management factors to enable the year-round supply of ‘M&S Scotch lamb’. This includes researching and piloting a new specification.
  • New markets in the Far East for Scottish seed potatoes have been developed for the last two years by Grampian Growers. Last year the co-op will also trial potato plots in Zimbabwe and Kenya.
  • Through the involvement of SAOS, the Milk Suppliers Association (MSA) has completed 25 on-farm lean management reviews, resulting in average identified savings of several pence per litre.
  • First Milk has a continuing long-term collaboration with Nestlé, which focuses on continuous improvements in milk quality, lean farming methods (enabling a reduction in GHG emissions), environmental sustainability (soil, water and biodiversity), the next generation of farmers, and animal welfare.
  • Ringlink Scotland devised the first pre-apprenticeship scheme targeted at school leavers, to address an increasingly acute skills shortage in the industry. This has been devised in direct response to the needs of members.