Access to good food can change lives. Together, Riverford and our customers contribute to some vital causes – giving not just money, but our time, skills and veg. From helping Ugandan families grow their way out of poverty, to donating tonnes of fresh organic veg to community food banks, we support meaningful change from the ground up.

Over £307,000 raised for Send a Cow!

Our long-time charity partner Send a Cow was founded in the ‘80s by Devon dairy farmers. They don’t actually ship cows to the tropics any more (despite the name!). Instead, they work in seven African countries, providing local livestock, seeds, and practical training in sustainable farming – enabling disadvantaged families to grow enough food to eat, and more to sell.

Like Riverford, Send a Cow believe in good farming as the source of secure food, lives and communities. Their entire approach is organic; by teaching farmers to improve soil fertility, conserve water, and create holistic systems with no waste (even the cows’ urine is used to treat plant diseases), Send a Cow foster sustainable change. They offer a ‘hand up’, not a hand-out; giving people the tools to help themselves, instead of becoming dependent on aid.

Donate £1 to Send a Cow

Send a Cow & Riverford – see your donations in action

We’ve seen Send a Cow’s fantastic work for ourselves, thanks to our long-standing links with farmers in Uganda, where our donation efforts are focused. In 2002, after hosting Timothy Njakasi (regional coordinator for Send a Cow) in Devon as part of his sustainable agriculture training, Riverford founder Guy Singh-Watson spent two weeks on Timothy’s own farm in Uganda.

“It was the most inspiring farming I had ever seen… all small scale and always diverse. What seemed disordered was actually shaped by a level of ecological knowledge unknown to farmers in the developed world,” said Guy. “It was obvious I had more to learn than to teach, so we funded Timothy to turn his farm into the Kasenge Riverford Organic Agricultural Centre.”

The Centre is still going strong, and has trained thousands of Ugandan smallholders in organic methods.

Since then, we’ve welcomed other Ugandan guest farmers to Devon, and Riverford staff have visited in return, to see Send a Cow’s work in action. It’s inspiring stuff. Watch a thank-you from Send a Cow to Riverford customers for all your support below!

Visit sendacow.org to find out more about Send a Cow. Charity number 299717.

FoodCycle – Serving community meals across the UK

Waste not, want not. Riverford have much more forgiving specs than the supermarkets, but there’s always going to be some veg that’s a little too damaged or too ripe for customers. That’s where FoodCycle comes in.

FoodCycle combines surplus food, volunteers and spare kitchen spaces to create nutritious three-course meals, served for free in a warm and welcoming environment, to vulnerable people at risk of food poverty and loneliness. “For many of our guests, this may be the one moment in a week they share a meal and conversation with other people,” they say.

FoodCycle share our belief in the power of good food – and in the importance of eating together as a community. The impacts, as well as getting a round meal into people, are profound:

  • Over 80% of guests say they have made friends
  • 87% of guests say FoodCycle has a positive effect on their community
  • Over 85% of FoodCycle volunteers say they have developed a better understanding of other cultures and backgrounds

Riverford staff volunteer with FoodCycle, delivering free veg to sites in Devon and Peterborough, and helping cook and dish up. And through staff donations alone, we’ve raised £5101 for FoodCycle since 2018!

Visit www.foodcycle.org.uk to find out more about FoodCycle. Charity number 113323.

Food in Community

We also donate veg to Food in Community, who operate in Totnes, Devon (just up the road from our farm). Local they may be – but they believe their revolutionary system could be replicated anywhere to tackle food poverty and social isolation.

Every week, Food in Community’s volunteer team collect surplus food (mostly organic) from producers and farmers’ fields, then get it to wherever it will be most useful:

  • Redistributing to charities, schools, nurseries and community groups
  • Delivering veg boxes to cancer patients’ homes
  • Weekly ‘pay what you feel’ community cafés
  • Workshops and cookery clases for groups including refugees, people with mental health issues, carers and older men living alone

Find out more about Food in Community.