Guy’s news: Risk, consistent blandness & pineapples

Two weeks in Sri Lanka feasting morning, noon and night on the best food I have ever eaten has left me craving coconut, jackfruit, lime and curry leaf, but not their pineapples. Fresh aromatic leaves, fruit, vegetables and spices with minimal meat, a little dried fish and a marked absence of processed ingredients, prepared in the simplest of kitchens with honesty and confidence was available on every street, village and market.

Within hours of returning home I was on the farm in search of greenery to detox from my airline food; there was not much to be had on account of the cold and I found myself embroiled in a debate about pineapples instead. Grown in Togo, ours were better than any I had eaten on holiday but tragically the sweetest and most juicy were being rejected. One in four had small areas of internal browning as they reached their peak of sweetness and, after a rash of complaints, we were playing safe; hopefully most will go to food charities or be eaten by staff rather than by the cows. The tragedy of such waste is compounded by memories of visiting the growers and witnessing the human effort that went into nurturing the fruit; most have been grown using only mattocks and carried a kilometre or more from small remote fields to the nearest road, in the first stage of their long and tortuous journey to your door. Added frustration comes from knowing that those growers would view a such light browning as little more than a sign of ripeness.

If we accept that “the customer is always right” and assess satisfaction by measuring complaints we will, paradoxically, manage ourselves into a situation where we sell consistent but mildly disappointing fruit while accepting ludicrous waste; just like most supermarkets. We must be brave enough to accept occasional complaints and I would ask you, our customers, not to give up on us at the first over-ripe piece of fruit. We must both trust, forgive and take a little risk, in order to avoid a life of predictable blandness.

Outside the ground is hard as iron and snow is falling on snow. Our intrepid drivers will do their best but, in anticipation of logistical carnage, I apologise to those whose boxes arrived late or not at all.

Guy Singh-Watson

80 responses to “Guy’s news: Risk, consistent blandness & pineapples

  1. Dear Riverford
    Re pineapples. Just tell folk that the browning is fine. I noticed same happening with mine and because in some fruit eg plums, oranges browning means a bad taste or worse a sore tummy I wasn’t sure what to do. Now I shall eat the delicious pineapple with joy. I will continue to moan about oranges and lemons that go brown the day after arrival. I do understand that unwaxed thin skinned citrus is complex to store. And I most assuredly will continue to buy Riverford citrus because the taste is incomparable. But since I’m on a small budget and the cost is high for me I will also ask for a refund. Kind regards.

    • my citrus hasn’t gone brown? but then i put them straight in the fridge in the drawer. I’ve been eating the blood oranges quite fast but the bergamot lemons have hung around for a few weeks, in the fridge, and they’re beginning to wizen so need to cut them up and freeze them for longevity.

      I have a butternut squash that came before christmas that’s still in pristine condition in the pan cupboard, so is a growing collection of onions and sweet potato. Everything else goes int eh fridge.

      Only bananas get to live out on the counter (and pineapples) Oh and the mango that arrived I think a couple of weeks ago that’s in a paper bag with a banana til it goes a bit more wizened, I want it nice and juicy!

  2. Shame on those who complain about bits of brown in pineapples. They taste amazing …
    Isn’t that more important than how they look?

  3. Caroline Lennartsson

    I’m just so grateful for Riverford, the teams, farms and deliveries and the incredible labour intensity to bring organic produce to your box people all over the place. Your description of the growers and their care for what they grow is moving and vital to read, we just sit and click to get the fruit or veg. The growers stories and methods really interest me. The ‘customer is always right’ thing is a two edged sword and creates lots of nonsense….I’d love a sweet pineapple right now and brown bits are good with me. I always select imperfect fruit and veg and don’t give a fig about everything being the same. Thank you Guy for all that you seek to bring to so many people, all the living foods and wonderful flavours. Really appreciate all you dream and aspire to, plus all the deliciousness you deliver.

  4. Good you have highlighted this. Think including this information both on the website and together with the fruit would help enlighten. That way if there were any customers who preferred appearance over taste they could make alternative choices. Personally I prefer to prioritise taste, but just need to know what constitutes ‘bad’. I have not ordered pineapple up until now, but will certainly consider it in future.

  5. Reading today’s blog, I am horrified at your customers who moan about a bit of dark stuff in a pineapple. What are they but a pack of moaning minnies!

    • Catherine Scanlon

      for some reason I dislike this expression ‘moaning minnies’…
      many thanks for all deliveries and fabulous food – mostly very good to amazing ; and for coming out through the snow – much appreciated.

  6. Agree with everyone who says flavour first. I have often had a small area of brown in a pineapple but eat them for their flavour. Would Riverford customers take fruit with no flavour back to the supermarket and ask for a refund?
    Also. Would they want to be the people producing the pineapples?

  7. Wish I’d known that brown was ok to eat. Composted lots of pieces of pineapple (though didn’t complain, thought it was my fault for not being able to process it immediately) and now sad I wasted good fruit.☹️ Will know better in future. Please don’t give up on pineapples, what I ate was gorgeous!

  8. Geoffrey Sandberg

    The pineapples are great. Lovely flavour and very juicy. I tasted the slightly over-ripe bits and they were fine: not going off in the slightest. But they can’t be kept unopened for too long. Cut up within about three days of receipt. What you can’t manage in one day will keep perfectly well in a fridge for at least another 3 days without any further ripening, and certainly without starting to “go off”. Stop complaining, people: this is real food, not the sanitised plastic stuff which says “ripen in fruit bowl”, which is still rock- hard after 3 weeks.

  9. I’m heartbroken that you have had to reject and waste the pineapples. We had the best tasting ever in our lives a few weeks ago. We would accept a little internal browning if that’s what it takes. Is there any way they could be sold with a warning on the website?

    • The idea of a warning on the website is great. You could do it for other things too perhaps. The customers who complain will almost always only be doing it because they don’t have the information they need; with an explanation I’d guess the complaints would dwindle to nearly none.

  10. I don’t mind a bit of brown as long as the pineapple is actually still eatable. I did once have one that was really over-ripe and had to be thrown away/given to the guinea pigs (who love pineapple). I must say I didn’t complain – with the veg box you take the rough with the smooth, it seems to me. Is it possible to send us pineapples that are slightly unripe so that they sit in the fruit bowl for a few days and ripen off – that would save you from sending them out on the edge of over-ripeness, perhaps? Certainly the wastage is bad, from all points of view.

  11. Lesley Theobald

    It is disappointing that people buying food from the growers (albeit they are in Africa or wherever) are not in touch with the facts of growing food – not their fault really. If they were able to grow food themselves would they be so picky? Those of us who also garden and produce food know that some bits go on the compost heap and you eat the good bits.
    On the other hand we should be glad that they are prepared to buy organic and direct and this is an occasion to (pineapples) gently educate. Fruit in particular is sweetest at the moment it is going to go ‘bad’.

  12. I’ve often had browned areas – usually because I’ve not been able to eat it all quickly enough. Not being a lover of waste, I ate it anyway & found it to be perfectly good. I also like the fact that the core in ‘your’ pineapples is quite easy to eat, not hard & inedible like supermarket ones. It may have slightly more ‘bite’ but cut up into dice is just as tasty. Don’t reject them in future, most of us will enjoy them anyway – the season is too short to get picky.

  13. Thank you Guy for this invaluable, enlightening info. I think its as important to kbow about the living, working & seasonal conditions in the countries our food in sourced from, as it is to know about its origins. I’ve lived in southern Africa, on its east coast & enjoyed an abundance of tropical fruit while growing up there. We would never have turned our noses up at brown patches on bananas or pineapples. Just what state do people think the fruit is in that is pulped into comnercial juices & smoothies?. Your post is enlightening & sometimes that’s all people require- truthful clarification & a good explanation.

  14. I am so glad to know about this. It will encourage me to order pineapples more often. The flavour is stupendous, but I did worry about the brown – no I will not. Educate us please! I haven’t received my box yet, but I know it will come as soon as it is safe to travel. We won’t starve!

  15. Our order arrived earlier than usual yesterday with a big smile, thank you.
    Keep the pineapples coming just as they are, bananas and pineapples are so much more delicious and sweet like that.

  16. Please don’t stop providing fresh, tasty fruit and vegetables because of the odd blemish or “bit of browning”. I’m surprised that Riverford customers are so picky; they should know better. I shall have to
    order a few pineapples and a bit of overripeness won’t bother me at all.

  17. Food in Community

    Food in Community are a volunteer led organisation operating in the area of Riverford’s Wash Farm in South Devon.

    Food in Community’s volunteers have redistributed many of these gorgeous tasting Togo pineapples to food banks, homeless shelters and organisations helping disabled people, people with learning difficulties, local schools and nurseries, and other community organisations across the South Hams, Teignbridge and Torbay. They have been very much appreciated by the recipients. Some have said that they were the most delicious pineapples they had ever tasted, a wonderful testimony to the care and skill of the growers in Togo.

    Thank you Guy and the Riverford team for enabling us to put smiles on faces and provide delicious nutritious food whilst avoiding food waste.

    • That is terrific news. I bet they’ve never had such good food. We felt that about the last pineapple we had which was truly astonishingly delicious. BUT – who pays the price? I’m worried that it could be the producers when I’m very keen on ethical food production. Also worried that it’s Riverford when good quality ethical food distribution is hard enough as it is.

  18. Margaret Burden

    Thank you Guy and all the Riverford team especially the Bristol Hub. My delivery arrived safely yesterday although my driver did not know if he would be able to make the other 40 on his round due to worsening conditions.
    Many thanks for telling us about the pineapples, I don ‘t often buy them as i really try hard to stick to UK produce but will definitely order one soon.
    Keep up the good work and I hope the moaners get the message.

  19. So which customer is always right? The one who complains or the one who doesn’t? I’d love the sweet pineapples. The gap between perfection and going over is very small indeed. Let’s not waste food that’s been lovingly grown!

  20. Really shocked and disgusted that Riverford customers have been complaining about the pineapples. The one we had was juicy and delicious and, yes, it did have a bit of brown in the middle. This just shows how even Riverford customers have been brainwashed by supermarkets! Feel so sorry for the growers, who must now believe all they’ve heard about Brits. Our short-sighted stupidity in other affairs has already made us a laughing stock – please, Riverford customers, don’t make it worse.

  21. It’s much healthier to have ripe fruit & veg which are ripened where they are supposed to be – on the tree/plant.

    I am sick of under-ripe supermarket fruit & veg as they put their profit above our health.

    I’d rather risk occasional/slight over-ripeness than eat the non-nutritious supermarket stuff.

  22. Our intrepid driver made our delivery yesterday – fortunately before the worst of the weather in our area. Always reliable! Our even more intrepid milkman also delivered and left deep footprints in the snow.

  23. The brown in the pineapples is totally fine. I am amazed that people would complain about this. The customer may need more educating rather than being given into. Waste not-the tide is turning!
    Am glad that no drivers risked their safety to get to us today. We will order more over the coming weeks to compensate.
    Thankyou for all you each do.

  24. I fully understand why complaints are made when produce is sub-par; we buy on trust that what we’ve paid for is something we’d buy on sight if pre-inspection were possible. However, personal preferences and ‘standards’ do vary and I wonder whether such produce as described could still be sold or offered for sale with a buyer’s caveat at a lower price? There might then be less wastage directly from the farm and more people willing to take risks on such produce.

  25. I’m one of those who’ll be ordering pineapples from you from now on- I rarely buy them in shops because they are often harvested green and therefore tasteless.
    If you could include the description and advice on the website that should do it?
    I won’t be ordering bananas from you anymore though because they came in green and I really dislike unripe fruits.

    But the spinach… the first one that came in, dark green that grows in bunches, wow! That spinach alone was worth the price of the box!😁😋

    • I love Riverford bananas – far superior to those in supermarkets. If they are green I usually leave them for a couple of days and then find that they have ripened sufficiently even if the skin still looks greenish.

    • Jo-Anne Greene


      Wondering why you can’t wait for your bananas to ripen at home? And where are you able to actually find them at peak ripeness? I’ve never seen them in a supermarket in any other form other than slightly under ripe. Be patient…they don’t take that long to ripen!

  26. Look up the recipe for Pineapple Beer!

  27. I agree about the spinach, Dejana – please feed back to growers…

  28. I really wish this information had been shared when the Pineapples were advertised. Although I ate mine discoloured bits included, I really wasn’t sure about it, but it was so sweet and juicy. I loved it. but haven’t ordered one since.

  29. We received one of the brown pineapples. Interesting to see the different viewpoints on here. Although I didn’t complain we threw ours out after cutting it open and seeing all brown inside and a quick taste. the other fruit was ok but I did feel that the fruit box was a lot of money for the fruit we received including brown pineapple versus the veg boxes which have been excellent.

    • Jo-Anne Greene

      What a shame you threw out your pineapple Claire! We made ours isn’t a smoothy, brown bits and all, with added bananas and yogurt and it was truly delicious!!

  30. I had one of the pineapples recently. Yes, it was a little bit brown in places but it was absolutely delicious. Really sweet and flavoursome and I would love to have it again. Riverford customers should be better than to complain about something that doesn’t look “supermarket perfect”. Taste the bl00dy thing first! If it tastes good, eat it!

  31. I was lucky enough to receive a pineapple in my box. Yes some very slight browning … and absolutely delicious! Thank you for everything you do, and please don’t ever change things in favour of supermarket blandness. Riverford has reminded me how fantastic fruit can taste – recent apples and blood oranges have been superb (also agree with the comments about amazing spinach above, and the recent peppers were the best I’ve had since some particularly great ones in California about 14 years ago! 😄). Thanks again.

  32. Sooo before I commit to buying a pineapple are we going to get nice time ones with a little brown or tasteless unripe ones now?

    • if it’s tasteless, cook it. just take the skin off, core it, cut into chunks, sprinkle a little decent cane sugar demarara or soft brown on it. I microwave it but you can do it in a pan, just watch out it doesn’t burn. No need to add water as when it cooks the fruit releases juice.
      really tasty!!!! (and noneof the acid that makes your tongue bleed with a really unripe one!

      I don’t know why this never occurred to me in the past, i do it with plums and apples and pears that aren’t ripe but just about to go over. Now I do it with pineapples too.

  33. Charlotte Barnes

    Dear all
    Having fresh organic food delivered to my door every week ( free for a tiny minimum spend) by the same cheery bloke who laughed off the freezing cold this week because he came from somewhere colder is a luxury impossible to be grateful enough for, it is the greatest gift I can think of taking into account the absolute top quality of the produce and The perfectly reasonable pricing . We all know how incredibly hard it is to grow , harvest and deliver in the winter and this latest weather must have been punishing.Everything I have ever had from Riverford has been completely fabulous and I would like to say how much I appreciate and value what they do there .
    Thank you Guy for everything including pineapples…

  34. strangely enough the brown in teh pineapple causes a bit of a conversation between me and my carer every single time. I last got a pineapple I think one or two weeks ago? I turned it upside down in the hope sugars would move around (yeah I googled lol). My house is consistently bout 13 to 15 degs so all fruit and veg last a long time in my kitchen.

    anyway, we took the skin off the pineapple and it tasted fine, a bit sharp, we had a chew of the inside of the skin.

    We opened the pineapple into quarters, it was brown in the middle, she said oh it’s gone off. I said well we don’t know that til we taste it. She looked appalled… So I got her to chop off the core and I nibbled a bit. Tasted fine. So I got her to cut it into chunks

    though pineapple raw makes my tongue bleed, so we put a little bit of demarara cane sugar on it, in a lidded pyrex bowl and microwaved it for a couple of minutes and after a few of those, the full flavour came through without the acidity final taste.

    With today’s internet, I naievely assumed that everyone would do an internet search to find out about what comes in the box is supposed to look like when edible? But obviously not from this.

    Perhaps the Riverford website needs an FAQ section with a list of characteristics of when fruit and veg is good to eat and safe or not. Because to me, this issue of people complaining when they don’t understand what it’s supposed to look like, that’s an education issue, and part of what Riverford does, is educational. We are so divorced from the land, that many people don’t know that sprouts live on stalks, that wizened carrots or parsnips are floppy and harder to peel but sweeter, and, that pineapple that’s brown in the middle, can be tasted and if necessary cooked, to get the full value!

    • oh what I forgot to say is the pineapple was hanging around for a week or two before I cut into it. according to the interwebs it’s fine as long as it’s not mouldy at the stalk at hte bottom or the leaves at the top. so I just keep an eye on those bits, and then eat when convenient.

      I also find the citrus fruit is staying fresh for a very long time in the fridge. I’ve still got bergamot lemons from the first week they were available (keep forgetting to get them chopped up and frozen) and they’re a bit wizzened now. but absolutely fine!

      • there was about half an inch depth of brown. but it tasted the same as the yellow bits. so I just decided to eat it anyway… maybe mine had gone over? and I should have eaten it earlier but it didn’t have any ill effects. and anyway I was gorging on other fruits first 😉

  35. Deirdre Collins

    My veg box was left as usual, before I was up, despite the snow and a very slippery road where I live. Many thanks to my delivery man whom I seldom see as he is so early, bless him.

  36. We ordered a pineapple as an extra to have healthy fresh fruit for ‘pudding’ in the winter. We have absolutely no worries about the brown, ate every scrap before seeing all this fuss and will again.
    I was very sad to read Guy’s report of a ‘rash of complaints’ in one way. On the other hand maybe it shows Riverford have managed to recruit some customers of the demographic that Organic needs to extend into. That is people who are not used to dealing with a wide range of fruit and veg products that come as they grow or may have been stored.
    If our carrots should happen to get too bendy to peel easily before being used, I just top and tail them and soak in the minimum of water to cover for a few hours until they crisp up again.
    I suggest including an explanation with simple diagram in the newsletters of how ethylene natural ripening gas is heavier than air and this can be used to slow ripening by storing in a basket or box with gas drainage holes in the base, or speed up in a paper bag or punnet without holes. I personally sometimes punch holes in Riverford papier mache punnets with a screwdriver to store eg ripe tomatoes. Works brilliantly.

  37. Isabel Hitchman

    Pineapple was delicious, and this week the ripe grapes, long and very dark, have been the best I’ve ever tasted. What is the variety? Would love to know, and hope for more.
    And thank you, Riverford, for getting my box to me despite deep snow.

  38. Thanks Guy and everyone at Riverford for all your hard work and thoughtfulness, particularly in these Winter months. I love reading your articles because they are thought-provoking and informative. Weekly we get the great recipe suggestions, so maybe an idea would be to add in the hints and tips of what to expect/what is OK so that customers complain less and understand more. Personally I feel fortunate to be able to shop with you weekly but for me that comes with conscience and a willingness to learn about the wider impact of our shopping for groceries. I would love to learn more about these more remote places where you source our beautiful fruit/vegetables. Happy weekend! 🙂

  39. My box was one that didn’t arrive this week. Although I love my veg and fruit and am disappointed not to have it this week, I was relieved that our driver didn’t try to deliver. Our road is like an ice rink, and I was worried enough about all the lorry drivers trying to navigate the roads not to mention the growers wondering how on Earth they could harvest the produce in such extreme conditions. I would like to say how much I appreciate all the work that goes in to bringing me my box each week from seed to veg box on my doorstep. Thank you to you all. I’d also like to say ditto to Caroline Lennartsson‘s post. I am happy with the odd blemish or bug 🐛 or wonky shape. It’s the outstanding taste that matters.

  40. Jo-Anne Greene

    I love all the positive feedback from many of the above customers, and I am guilty of not praising the efforts of Guy, his team, and all the growers that he works with enough. You are the best when it comes to providing all that is good for us. Myself, my partner, and even one of our veggie and fruit loving dogs are extremely grateful for sending us such delicious organic produce each week. We have remained loyal customers for years and appreciate all the hard work that goes into what you do. We really love your newsletters, Guy, and look forward to them almost as much as the produce we receive every week. Thank you for everything!

  41. We feel so privileged to be able to have the Riverford boxes – we just started in recent weeks. We had one bland pineapple (and accept that fruit can be hit and miss); the next I cut up and was going to bake with it – next thing, my husband and daughter were polishing it all off in one go! They loved it. I agree with others that it is good to highlight things like ‘brown is fine’ – yes we should know, but a diet of supermarket produce has left many of us lacking knowledge we’d like to have! Keep up the good work.

  42. I had a conical shaped pineapple recently, it was the best flavoured one I have tasted since I had a freshly harvested ripe one in Kenya! Keep up the good work.

  43. Why not explain the issue on the website or in an email, so that those that want to help out can buy a pineapple or whatever fruit or veg issue you have from time to time. You can offer a suitable recipe to go with the item if over ripe etc. then jam or a pudding perhaps. (I have no idea but willing to try!) I am sure that most of your customers do care about communities and supporting farmers and also food waste issues and so if you need help offloading a crop do let us know.

  44. Compliments and gratitude to everyone at Riverford and all the growers, suppliers, and logistics staff.
    This week I was particularly impressed -in the midst of the snow and storms I was delighted to find my delivery arrived perfectly on time – I woke to find my boxes ,as if by magic , safely stored indoors by my marvellous delivery person , who unlocks and re-locks the front door while I slumber. What a truly fabulous service . Who could possible complain about a piece of over ripe fruit. Many many thanks.

  45. I very much enjoyed my pineapple and would be happy to receive more of the same.
    Best wishes,

  46. Hi although I missed getting my Riverford box yesterday I totally understood the reason why it didn’t arrive. I’m pleased you put your drivers first. With the comments regarding pineapples I feel I need to try one and it will be on my next order.

  47. The phrase ” a life of predictable blandness” made me sit up straight. Thank you for yet another frank and direct newsletter….always a pleasure to read, and with not a whiff of blandness about them. I shall never look at Pineapples askew again:)
    Cheryl Hook

  48. If your pineapple looks a bit past its best and puts you off; cut it into chunks and freeze it. It makes great thick milkshakes if you have a blender that can deal with ice; lots of fruit with not much little milk or yoghurt, a little vanilla extract and away you go. Pineapple shakes are great with frozen mango added too, for a truly tropical taste sensation. All fruit can be used like that. Bananas give the best texture, but add what you like. The variety is only limited by your imagination.

  49. Please don’t stop selling the Togo pineapples. Maybe an explanation at the point of buying would give those who don’t want the brown the option to buy from somewhere else and those of us who don’t mind can enjoy!

  50. We love pineapple but have always seen it as a bit of a treat until I read that the bromelain in them, especially in the stem is very good at getting rid of a persistent cough, (when mixed with a little cayenne pepper, honey, lemon juice & fresh ginger). I have also read it helps with inflammation. So we have now had quite a few pineapples from here & they have all been so delicious with only one that was quite brown but I just thought that was my fault for not eating it straight away as it does say they are ripe & ready when delivered. Thank you for your most delicious fruit & veg, brown spots & all!

  51. Well, I grew up in Sri Lanka and very surprised to hear you didn’t like the pineapples. It maybe that you didn’t manage to the right ones in your short stay. I wonder if you went to the pineapple stalls alongside the Kandy road where they sell only pineapples for about a mile? I grew up with pineapples, mangoes and other tropical fruits and instinctively know what the good ones would be. I have tried 2 of your pineapples recently and sadly it is very difficult to determine when it is fully ready to be eaten. Their skin does not go orange and the aroma is very faint. As such I have cut them too early or too late when the internal browning was quite marked. I thought that it maybe that they were picked too early before is is fully mature to be picked. If it’s not mature enough it can’t ripe well. I have never noticed this browning in pineapples in Sri Lanka, we let then be orange skinned for a long while and when the aroma is just right its ready to be eaten. It is then very sweet and succulent and less acidic.

  52. Lesley Somerville

    That’s it. I’m going to order pineapple for the first time. What have I been missing?!?
    Very interesting comments. I’m really encouraged that more and more, people do care about where their food comes from and who grows it.

  53. Philippa Hutchinson

    Heartily agree that people must live with the odd brown bit on pineapples and in life generally. Uniformity and indifferent flavour is what we go to supermarkets for.

  54. Valerie Roberts

    PLEASE don’t give up on the pineapples! We have only ordered them for two weeks and couldn’t believe how ripe and delicious they were. I admit, being totally ignorant, I cut out the small amount of brown, but I certainly won’t do so in the future if you continue to have them. Although the label stated that the pineapple was ready to eat, I was doubtful until I cut it. It only lasts us two days, three at the most as we can’t eat it fast enough. As for the tireless work and commitment of your staff during these difficult conditions, they deserve an award. My veggie box arrived on time this morning. Many, many thanks to you all.

  55. Totally agree with the most here. We Brits are not frequent pineapple eaters and our complaints – I was one, sorry – were borne of ignorance. Give us some guidance and we’ll gobble them up. After all, surely Riverford customers are a core demographic when it comes to waste haters and knobbly veg lovers!

  56. I’m always interested in Guy’s newsletters; we all read them in our household. I was really interested in the reference to complaints as we are in a culture where complaints or the threat of a complaint can affect our work and, I agree. we could end up with ‘bland’, so not to lose custom or offend anyone.

  57. Was reading your news letter in my Veg box and was surprised and sorry that you received so many complaints regarding the Pineapples, our pineapple delivered slightly discoloured during ripining, however was so full of flavour it didn’t matter. I hope the cows & staff enjoyed the leftovers and much as we did.

  58. Susan Sandberg

    Was so saddened to read of the complaints re browning in the pineapples. Have some of Riverford customers forgotten already how tasteless the “perfect” fruit and veg from supermarkets actually is? A pity that the complaininers lack knowledge of the growing/ripening process. This has already been said before but wanted to add my support for Riverford’s principles and their food.

  59. Sara Mountford

    Just a quick word to Guy – keep up the good work and go for taste ! Ignore the few moaners who can’t accept the odd over ripe fruit. I have been ordering Riverford for several years with very few incidences where I have binned fruit or veg . I have found that Riverford produce keeps better than supermarket veg and certainly wins on flavour. I want real food not bland overpackaged produce.

  60. After reading this newsletter I was encouraged to order a pineapple. Absolutely delicious! So sweet too. I would definitely order one again.

  61. I too had brown in the pineapple. Same happens with supermarket ones. But the Riverford ones were amazing. And when cooked in toffee caramel with lemon, oh my word, plus it was all brown then!!

  62. Hi to Guy and the gang! As a displaced Californian, a little brown always tells me that pineapple is going to be sweet! But it’s great to inform people about these things. Like all your fans, we don’t want you to lose sleep because Riverford is doing a fantastic job, and we are all fighting here to maintain our right to organic food, healthy bees , forests and parks, etc. I love how passionate the British are about these things!! Recently, sending my daughter back to the US midwest for uni, she cried, “But Mom, what will I eat without Riverford?!!” Organic food in the States costs the earth! so thank you for all you do and bring on the pineapples!

  63. Our fruit and vegetables are delivered by our local Riverford team on a Friday. Some goes in the fridge, the rest into a cool outside cupboard. Whereas the veg generally lasts the week, we find that certain fruits are not much use beyond Tuesday. Pears and bananas in particular have to be eaten quickly before evidence of bruising/rotting appears. Quite often this is before they have fully ripened. We love organic food, but would hope that if it is not up to your usual standard that this would be reflected in a refund or reduced price.

    • Am wondering if some of the different customer experiences could be attributable to home temperatures? I have never had a problem with fruit going off, but my thermostat may be set lower than others. For bananas I find they ripen even if the skin stays green. Most other fruit I keep in the fridge anyway.

    • Just let your veglady/man know if you have reason to be dissatisfied with any item. In well over 400 deliveries I think we’ve had something substandard maybe 3 times [and not recently]. Each one I’ve been given something very nice next delivery that more than made up for it. I consider that any time we get anything dodgy we should let Riverford know, otherwise how can they do quality control and improve as they wish?

  64. Malcolm Sterratt

    Thanks for the information about brown bits in pineapples. I only have one when it is in my small fruit & veg box but all those have been delicious. If I do find one with brown bits I’ll ignore them.
    I’d like to hear news from Home Farm, Newby Wiske from time to time. Otherwise totally agree with most of what is said above especially Caroline Lennartsson’s comments.

  65. IN praise of pineapples : a footnote
    TO avoid waste a dehydrator could be useful maybe even for producing camping veg packs when there is a glut of other veg or producing conditioned nuts soaked and then dehydrated for claimed better digestibility.

    I have boiled my bergamot lemons and am going to use them in an almond orange cake a good three weeks after delivery!!

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