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.

Why is innovation important?

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.

We at SAOS believe that there is real value for farmers in pulling together their data and utilising it in the supply chain, to meet customer needs on the one hand, and to help direct farm decision making for profit margin on the other.

Co-ops are best placed to do this, enabling farmers to pool information, act cohesively, and retain ownership of their data.

SAOS has proposed to Scottish Government and the Cabinet Secretary’s Agriculture Champions that future farm policy should include incentives for innovation through co-operation. There is a clear need to ensure that ‘smart marketing’ further along the supply chain, links more effectively with ‘smart farming’, utilising data technologies and more collaborative business models.

The Cabinet Secretary’s Agriculture Champions were struck by the “great potential in encouraging greater use of collaboration”:

  • economies of scale in purchasing and selling
  • sharing of specialist machinery and staff
  • market information
  • risk management
  • logistics
  • branding and marketing

Standing still is not an option for businesses in today’s fast-changing world of political, population consumer and climate challenges. Being flexible and responsive to market drivers is the key to sustainable business success.

Get in touch to find out more about Fit2Innovate.