Would an independent Scotland affect the success of their co-op sector?

In farming, as in much of life, working together makes things easier. The ethos of a farmer co-operative is to combine forces to produce cost savings, add value, enable diversity, and reduce business risk. Apart from this immediate justification, there are bigger considerations: realising advantages of scale, opening up opportunities that are far beyond the scope of any individual farm, and helping to safeguard individual family farms for future generations.


Although they don’t tend to shout about it, many Scottish farmers have been able to improve and make their business more resilient by working together. Should Scottish independence become a reality, it is clear which side of the border farmers would prefer to be.


65% of Scotland’s farmers co-operate in some way, and 85% say they expect to continue or increase in the next five years.


The 75 co-ops that participate in SAOS had a turnover of over £2.3 billion last year - a major contribution to the food and drink economy.


In future, through co-operation, SAOS farmer co-ops will perform a more active role in managing the land to generate renewable energy, producing ‘more from less’ to help feed a growing global population in the most carbon efficient way.


SAOS as an organisation promotes and assists the development of collaboration in farming, food and drink supply chains throughout Scotland, working in partnership with Scotland Food & Drink. For more information, go to www.saos.coop


Download:Farmer Co-ops in Scotland

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Nuts and Bolts by Jesse Norman