RIVERFORD: WHAT IS IT?
Riverford is one of the OGs on the food scene. The company has been offering fruit and veg boxes since 1987, which makes you wonder why it’s taken so long for food subscription boxes to take off.
Most of the produce is grown on the employee-owned farm down in Devon, near Totnes, which means the team can ensure the highest of standards across ethics and sustainability. As the business grew, instead of deciding to expand the original farm, Riverford began working with other small-scale organic growers who share its values. This means it can provide local people with great-tasting veg.
Don’t fancy a veg box? Sample the fantastic produce and true field-to-fork dining at the Riverford Field Kitchen restaurant, nestled right in the heart of the Devon farm.
RIVERFORD: HOW SUSTAINABLE IS IT?
Riverford brings a sustainability-forward approach to every element of its business. It only grows and supplies 100 per cent organic produce, certified by the Soil Association – meaning no artificial chemicals and more biodiversity.
It operates with very little food waste, puts animal welfare at the forefront of everything it does; supports small growers and producers; and does just about all it can in terms of ethics. 72% of the veg it sells is British grown, and 100% of the meat is British reared, and in 2018, it became an employee-owned company, and it also is working to address the gender pay gap.
RIVERFORD: HOW DOES IT WORK?
Delivery happens weekly on the days when the Riverford van is in the neighbourhood to keep carbon emissions low. Food boxes come in all shapes and sizes; you can get veg, fruit, meat, fish, salad and soup, and you can even order organic wines… Just saying.
Recipe boxes, too, revolve around organic seasonal dishes, and come in simple, foodie and light, as well as all the usual vegetarian and vegan options.
WICKED LEEKS: DID YOU KNOW?
Riverford funds its own online and quarterly print magazine, Wicked Leeks (see what they did there?). It investigates and writes about things such as coronavirus, climate change, environment and ethics. It’s well worth a read. Especially if you occasionally appreciate a view that’s alternative to mainstream press.