What we do

The SAOS team members are experts on co-operative strategies, structures and management. They also identify and develop collaborative innovation opportunities for rural Scotland.

Our aim is to research, develop and implement commercial innovation that provides increased competitiveness for Scottish farmers and food and drink supply chains. We research, develop and launch new enterprises and services that are mutually owned or are owned by SAOS for the benefit of rural Scotland, which respond to needs and new opportunities.

Within our key areas of agricultural co-operation, food industry collaboration and local foods, we are available to assist co-ops and other organisations in a wide variety of ways, including:

Strategic Consultancy

  • Multi-partner public/private sector projects in agriculture, food and drink
  • Sector and supply chain analysis and strategy development
  • Research and innovation of co-operative systems and impacts

New Business Starts Involving Co-operation or Joint Venture

  • Case study examples of group businesses
  • Hands-on advice and assistance to groups considering how to launch a new business that involves co-operation or joint venture
  • Market research, feasibility studies, business plans and financial plans required prior to new business formation
  • Model constitutions and members’ agreements
  • Advice on job specifications and manager recruitment
  • Assistance with registration and company secretarial tasks
  • Briefing and foundation skills training for directors
  • Assistance with open meetings of potential members
  • Advice and assistance regarding sources of grant funds
  • Consultancy for established businesses
  • Strategy review and board strategy workshops
  • Market research and feasibility studies
  • Strategy development and business planning
  • Investment evaluation and financial planning
  • Advice and assistance on member communications
  • Advice on constitutions and members’ agreements
  • Collaborative supply chain development: exemplars, strategy development, project management
  • Management of multi-partner development projects
  • Benchmarking
  • Advice and assistance regarding sources of grant funds