Guy’s news: A perfect descent & a modest rise

It has been a near perfect descent into winter, with steadily dropping temperatures allowing cabbages, kales, leeks, cauliflowers and salads in the tunnels to adapt and harden themselves for the trials ahead. We’re now left with only the hardcore pickers for the dark months; it takes a very particular mental and physical fitness to see through a winter out in the fields. With plenty of dry
weather, there has been a welcome absence of mud so far; it is the heavy, sticky, all-pervading accumulations on hands and boots which drag down the mood and the pace in the field more than the cold or even the rain.

November, normally the first dull, grey and muddy month of winter, was uncharacteristically kind; bright, dry and even warm for the most part, in Devon at least. The last potatoes are safely in the barn, along with most carrots and beets, and the broad beans and garlic have been planted in good conditions. On the last dry day we even managed to finish lining our irrigation reservoir with clay; it is now filling ready for next summer.

Sadly, such favourable weather and a good growing year overall has not been enough to make up for less favourable changes beyond our fields and outside our control. The pound has plunged 20% against the euro since the summer of 2016, when we planned your current box contents and agreed the prices with our Spanish, French and Italian suppliers. We have weathered the storm and held our prices for over a year but the sums are no longer adding up and, with great reluctance, we must put up our prices. Boxes will rise in the new year by an average of 66p or 4%, with small rises on most of our non-box range in the new year. The UK- only box will remain the same price at £13.95.

Food inflation is currently running at 4.1%; this rise will be 14 months since our last, making our annual inflation rate 3.4%. I hope this will be deemed fair by most of you. Our boxes are still substantially cheaper than supermarkets and our box competition, and you get more in your box: the veg tastes better and, where we don’t grow it ourselves, we look after the farmers who do in a way which is unprecedented in our industry.

Guy Singh-Watson

45 responses to “Guy’s news: A perfect descent & a modest rise

  1. Your boxes will still be a bargain, Guy; and received on the doorstep!!

  2. Elizabeth Fricker

    The quality of your produce is so good that I don’t mind the increase in price – it’s only fair. I love receiving my fresh veg, fruit and salad.
    Excellent and long may it continue.

  3. The quality of all the fresh produce that you supply, is so much better and keeps so much longer than other sources.
    It is inevitable that in the present climate prices will rise across the board, thank you for your efforts to keep them as low, as you do.

  4. We understand about the price rises. We trust you to keep prices as low as you can. We are big Riverford fans and are always extolling your virtues to anyone who will listen!

  5. I couldn’t do without my Riverford Veg! It’s like a box of chocolates when it arrives – what to eat first. Best taste and quality so worth the extra.

  6. Your food is a source of delight,and I appreciate its quality,freshness and the whole ethos behind your skills…and obvious commitment to the planet,
    And people,who are your customers…and will continue to buy from rivers ford,even with price increases which I understand completely..

  7. I have just joined Riverford in North Yorkshire and love your ethos throughout your company, not to mention the friendliness, delicious food, etc. It is worth paying that little bit more and much appreciated that you have explained your reasons.

  8. Love my Riverford box. Don’t mind a price rise at all as know the produce is environmentally sound and ethical. Great service, great people. Thank you all. Merry Christmas.
    Kim and Paul Davies

  9. Happy to pay up. Everything else goes up in price, why should you be exempt? Can we be a wee bit more specific? How much for small boxes, and do I have to sort it out with you? Or with Worldpay? Or just let it happen?

  10. Been getting your wonderful produce in Yorkshire for last 10 years and not going to stop now – couldn’t do without it

  11. Of course prices have to increase to take into account your costs, but food is valuable and I think many people don’t seem to realise that. Perhaps they would if they had to go without. I am old enough to remember the last war when nothing was wasted and every thing was valued. I for one still appreciate all the efforts you put into producing such quality food.

  12. Price is not the issue. Fairness is the goal: environment, animals, workers, customers. Been a regular customer for over ten years, a fair price rise won’t deter my custom.
    Thanks to all at riverford.
    Happy 2018, micky

  13. Donna Whittington

    It’s a fair increase and I’m happy to pay it. I blame Nigel Farage!

  14. Absolutely understandable and acceptable.Quality organic food and animal welfare is worth the extra. Still no supermarkets for me.

  15. We love your produce. My husband didn’t like broccoli until he tasted the broccoli you sent. Sounds like you’re being really fair. Thank you.

  16. As a relatively new customer who has purchased boxes for my husband and myself as well recipe boxes for my vegetarian daughter and her partener I would just like to say a massive thankyou for the extremely fresh produce that is delivered to my door at such good value for money.

  17. Worth every penny, must also say absolutely love the Brussel tops 😊😊😊

  18. Very happy to pay more for such good produce delivered to the door. Have been buying such boxes for over 20 years, for many of those years from a more local farmer. He failed to raise prices when he should have and had to stop supplying. I came to you then and am so glad you have more sense. Please put the prices up when you must and keep growing and delivering so I can go on living on the veg! I love puns.

  19. As fair & transparent as ever. We love that you care so much & are upfront & honest too. And your produce just happens to be brilliant to boot. Thank you.

  20. On delivery day each week I still get excited by the prospect of my Riverford boxes arriving. It’s a combination of the smell of fresh fruit and vegetables akin to harvest festivals of old, the feel of cold and crisp food, the friendliness of the delivery team, generally followed by a cup of coffee planning meals for the week. Then later in the day preparing our evening meal and sharing the taste of real food with joy.
    I read Guy’s News each week and I haven’t even touched on the ethics of what you do, with which I completely concur.
    There is a strong support for what you do and I was delighted when, following the giving of a Riverford box to my son for Christmas, he now receives a weekly box and wouldn’t do otherwise.
    Thank you for what you do and for keeping us fully informed and involved in the whole process.

  21. The produce you supply is of the very best standard, paying more for it still makes it great value for money, it has to be profitable for you so paying this small amount more benefits us all. Thank you for keeping us fed!

  22. I usually have the UK box but wouldn’t mind any increase, the veg keeps so well which is great for me being on my own I have delivery every 2 weeks.

  23. I agree with all the others, your rise is fair and well worth it. Love my order, it is like a christmas present every time. Quality is superb, can’t fault it or the service. Happy Christmas.

  24. Fair price rises, Guy.
    Thanks for posting the reasoning behind your decision.

  25. Love the box. Look forward to it arriving every time. Even after several moves we always make sure we can get a delivery. Everything has to go up in price. Always fair increase and well worth paying for fresh produce, delivered to your door that tastes fantastic. So much better than supermarket food.
    Thank you so much. Happy Christmas.

  26. My thanks to you Guy and all the team. A fair increase which we are all happy to accept. Agree with your ethics. Grew up with ‘dig for victory’ and have been organic every since, I’m so glad I can buy good fresh organic food. Happy Christmas to all and good fortune in 2018. Betty

  27. I once heard someone say ‘There’s no such thing as good quality, trustworthy cheap food…. And yours actually is cheap if you compare it with the supermarkets organic even alot of non organic stuff is incredibly expensive when you think you are paying to poisen yourself and hurt others in the industry.
    I gladly pay any price for great healthy organic food which has been grown and nurtured with love and compassion fairly, you can’t put a price on that.
    🙂 Thank you

  28. …..Excuse my terrible spelling errors… ahem

  29. Stephanie Mernagh

    Thank you for your honesty. I love that I can receive such great quality organic fruit and veg grown with care and compassion. I love your ethics, your care of the environment and the growers and the pickers. I like to think that the price that we pay is not just in money but also the impact on the environment and the people involved. So, what we get from Riverford is exceptionally good value.
    The price rise is fair and very modest. Even if it was a bit more, I would continue to order.
    Thank you again and have a lovely Christmas. xx

  30. As a recent newcomer to Riverford I agree with many of the comments. The boxes are good value, cheaper than the supermarkets (I’ve done the comparison) and the contents, in my experience, are consistently far better than other box schemes. The quality, taste and freshness of your produce is truly excellent. As a working mum on a budget every penny on your fruit and veg is very well spent. Thank you.

  31. Appreciate the explanation and honesty, in keeping with Riverford’s ethics. Price rise not an issue – still excellent value for money along with superb quality week in, week out. Thanks to all at Riverford.

  32. As all the others have said, a price rise is inevitable but it doesn’t change the wonderful fresh veg, the fact that there is very little waste, and even less because it’s so fresh it keeps well unlike supermarket stuff.
    Keep doing what you do, we love it!

  33. I agree with everything that’s been said. It’s inevitable that the boxes must increase in price. Willing to pay.

  34. A very realistic and fair decision. Please convey my gratitude and best wishes to your “hardcore pickers” for their work. I know just how much effort is needed to fill the hungry gap and being appreciated makes any job easier. xxx

  35. Happy to pay the increase. The bag of salad is the best and freshest we have ever had and is a definite favourite. We have started experimenting with cooking vegetables in a way we had never done before. The efforts of you and your hard core pickers is much appreciated.

  36. Deborah Davenport

    As with the earlier comments, I am more than happy with this – it’s fair, upfront and absolutely clear. It’s such a pity we can’t have Guy “in charge” for the Government…. that would shake things up a little 🙂
    Wishing all at Riverford a restful Christmas, and a very successful 2018.

  37. Costs fluctuate that is the way of business. We’ve been receiving boxes via Home Farm for over a year, and we have been and continue to be very happy; we’ve widened our appreciation of veg and cook in more imaginative ways. We are very grateful. My sister encouraged us to join as she did, and our parents joined earlier this year. Thanks for your continued hard work and weekly reads (every Thursday morning, with breakfast after Wednesday delivery). Best wishes.

  38. It’s a fair price increase for the brilliant quality produce, tastes far better and lasts much longer than any supermarket so there is far less waste.

  39. Very happy to pay the extra, it is worth it for the tasty veg and the care for the environment. Happy Christmas to you all.

  40. I really enjoy receiving my fruit & veg boxes weekly & the friendly people who deliver it and it’s so fresh happy Ch ristmas to you all Jacqui Derges

  41. Gabi Sanger-Stevens

    Your produce quality and support of your overseas suppliers are fantastic and well worth the increase.
    Wishing all at Riverford and in your supply chain a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year.

  42. Carole and Stephen Pluckrose

    No problems with the price rise. We enjoy inventing our own recipes using whatever is in the box, as well as using the recipe and advice included in the newsletter. We’ve also had fun and games managing to keep our veg mainly for us when our curious hens sneak into the kitchen and try to raid the veg racks! Try explaining to a hen why she cannot enjoy that really tempting green leaf because the powers that be say that any food that enters the kitchen cannot be shared with her. Now we keep it out of the kitchen, then the girls can enjoy a treat nown and again!

  43. Again, joining the chorus of previous posts, I really appreciate the honesty and ethics of Riverford – and Guy in particular. I too look forward to my fortnightly delivery of fresh and tasty veg, which I’ve been receiving for a few years now….. and the smile and warmth – and help – of the person who brings it to my door, or leaves it in the appointed place. I also value any phone contact I have needed to make, kind and friendly and always helpful.
    Like all the others, I understand the need for price rises.

  44. Judith & Philip Carr

    We understand completely the need for price rises. We too love the arrival of our box and Guy’s newsletter; informative and passionate about growing and working the land. At least we know the food is grown on land that is cared for and properly managed! We appreciate the difference in the taste of our vegetables and their diversity and always appreciate the inventive recipes.
    Best wishes for the coming year!

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