Simmons R, Yuill B & Booth J (2015) Governing Resilient Co-operatives: Agricultural Co-operatives in Scotland. In: Novkovic S & Miner K (eds.) Co-operative Governance Fit to Build Resilience in the Face of Complexity. Brussels: International Co-operative Alliance, pp. 35-48. http://www.ica-ap.coop/sites/ica-ap.coop/files/ICA%20GOVERNANCE%20PAPER%20-%20EN.pdf
Introduction: This Chapter draws on the ongoing experience of the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society Ltd (SAOS)1 working with its agricultural co-operative members concerning their governance, strategic planning, membership and management. It considers the dynamic and ongoing nature of governance, the factors that provide threats and opportunities for resilience, and the strengths and weaknesses of co-operatives in dealing with these issues. The discussion addresses governance as a broad and deep alliance between all the people who should be making decisions and shaping the outcomes of their cooperative(s) and who, at the same time, are working to contend with complex systems including increasingly rapid changes that are affecting food production, processing and distribution. This alliance is about developing governance structures and practices that pay attention to everyone who has a role and a stake in shaping their co-operative, its functions and performance, not just the people acting as directors or who are senior managers. The Chapter sets out some of the key issues for co-operative governance, before outlining how SAOS’s learning on these issues has evolved, and how a set of tools and resources has been developed to support agricultural co-operatives in Scotland.