Member Services

Our objective is to grow our members’ businesses and maintain high standards of corporate governance. We provide leadership within the agri co-op business sector, enabling members to participate in setting priorities and direction for the sector.

We maintain open, democratic and transparent governance with opportunities for member participation, networking and feedback. We promote, advocate on behalf of, and work to create a positive regulatory environment for, our members.

A comprehensive governance code, drafted especially for agricultural co-ops, is available for co-op members, directors and managers. SAOS and Co-operatives UK worked jointly on the code, drawing on experiences of both organisations to produce the publication. (Click on the link top right to download it.)

In addition to governance, SAOS delivers a wide range of services for its co-op members, including:

  • Company secretary and accountancy services (our guide for Co-op Secretaries can be found here.)
  • Financial trends analysis (including benchmarking)
  • Project planning and brokering with potential project partners
  • Access to specialist professional advice: legal, financial, personnel
  • Assistance to communicate with government ministers and politicians
  • Representation of co-op-related policy issues and interests
  • Assistance in relationships with local enterprise companies and councils
  • Promotion of co-operation and member businesses
  • Access to worldwide network of co-ops
  • Annual conference
  • Contact with the press

Governance Services for Co-ops and Farmer-Owned Businesses

  • Information and assistance on governance structures
  • Foundation skills training course
  • Governance Standards for Co-ops publication
  • Board self-evaluation of effectiveness
  • Assistance with induction handbook for new directors
  • Assistance with board policy charters
  • Corporate risk management systems
  • Masters seminars
  • Confidential advice line
  • SAOS Update newsletter (for directors of member businesses)
  • Assistance with ‘learning journeys’