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New Appointments for SAOS as Team Grows to Fulfil Wider Industry Ambitions

20 December 2021

SAOS, Scotland’s agri co-op and supply chain collaboration experts, have made two recent appointments as the organisation broadens its involvement in the wider food and farming industry. The additions to the team further build on SAOS’s supply chain capability and bring in expertise to develop their newly established brand assurance business.

SAOS Chief Executive, Tim Bailey, said: “Since its establishment in 1905, SAOS has continually evolved to meet changing needs, not only of our co-op members, but also for the good of the wider farming and food sector. As testament to this, and our ethos of employing people with a track record of working together effectively, we are delighted to invest in SAOS’s future by appointing the best people for these new roles. The new year will see the team continue to build to deliver SAOS’s ambitious plans to help shape the future of farming and food.”

Stephen Sanderson joined SAOS in October to manage the delivery of SAOS’s new Food Integrity Assurance (FIA) business. The industry-focused venture will fulfil the need for enhanced delivery of brand assurance to protect and promote products from Scotland’s food and farming sector. FIA has been appointed as the new assurance partner for Quality Meat Scotland to ensure requirements for whole chain assurance are met to underpin the integrity of the premium Scotch and Specially Selected brands.

As a former farm manager, Stephen gained experience of dairy farming and associated beef and sheep and cereal production, before moving into quality assurance and certification. Having audited against a variety of leading assurance standards, he went on to senior roles as Agricultural Operations Manager for Acoura, and more recently as a Global Technical Director with a focus on sustainable primary production standards.

Stephen commented: “I feel privileged to join SAOS at such an exciting juncture as we launch our new business venture Food Integrity Assurance to bring the significant benefit that a truly industry focused certification business can bring to the Scottish food production sector, including SAOS’s co-op members. It’s a pleasure to join such a proactive organisation where the strengths of co-operation and collaboration are demonstrated every day, enabling new projects like FIA to achieve success.”

In November, Patrick Hughes joined the team to lead on the establishment of the Scottish Agri Export Hub in collaboration with NFU Scotland. Patrick brings a wealth of experience and networks from his various roles in the food and agri sector, the most recent of which was Export Development Manager for Seed Potatoes with AHDB.

Patrick said: “I am delighted to be involved in this exciting project to help develop new opportunities for farmers and growers in Scotland. In addition to identifying, understanding, and developing new opportunities, we’ll also look to expand on the existing export opportunities for Scottish agricultural produce. There is clear potential to build on the existing platforms in the potato sector and these offer exciting opportunities for cereals, fruit and vegetable producers.” 

The Scottish Agri Export Hub is funded through the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership and supported by Scottish Government, and will establish a specialist export resource with support focusing on providing benefits to primary producers.

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