Ethics & ethos

An outstanding place to work

We’re one of the Top 100 Companies to Work For in the whole of the UK.

In 2018, Riverford became employee owned. Since then, we’ve embarked on a journey to become a truly revolutionary place to work, for the benefit of all co-owners (our word for ‘staff’, now that everyone owns an equal share!).

We want Riverford co-owners to bring their whole selves to work, enjoy enriching and fulfilling jobs, be supported to grow as people, and feel really proud of the business we share.

Employee ownership

As of 2018, Riverford is owned by its employees. Rather than buying and selling shares individually, everyone’s share is equal, and held in trust for as long as you work with us; the fairest ownership model.

  • Equal voices. Our new governance structure includes a democratically elected Co-owner Council representing all areas of the business. Two co-owners are also elected to sit on the Board of Trustees – the ultimate guardians of Riverford’s ethics and purpose – so our voices are represented at every level.
  • Happier teams. Research has shown that employee ownership offers numerous benefits – including higher morale, less debt and greater productivity. When it’s your business, you put your heart into everything you do.
  • Equal rewards. It’s not just about sharing the responsibility; we also share the rewards for our success! Once a year, 10% of all profits is divided equally between all co-owners. In the past two years, this has been raised to 15%, to recognise the amazing efforts of co-owners during the pandemic.

From the field co-owners who gathered your veg, to the teams who packed your box or wrote your weekly email, you can trust that every co-owner is treated fairly – as well as making sure that our values (a huge part of why many co-owners choose Riverford) are protected forever.

Find out more about employee ownership

B Corp certification

Riverford is a certified B Corp (or B Corporation). This an international certification for ethical businesses who work not just for profit, but to benefit people and the planet.

To become a B Corp, we went through a rigorous assessment by their team of experts, looking at every inch of Riverford’s social and environmental impact. Our current score is 124.6 out of 200. Most businesses score between 40 and 100, with 80 points required to become certified; a score of over 100 is considered outstanding!

Our highest score was in the Workers section of the assessment. Several factors helped us to excel:

  • Our innovative employee ownership.
  • A democratic governance system, including our Co-owner Council.
  • A great level of health, safety and wellness for all at Riverford.

We also scored highly on the Community and Environment sections. Our Community score was particularly high because we source so much from small UK family farms, offering a fair deal to all.

Learn more about B Corp

Top 100 Best Companies to Work For

In 2021, Riverford was named one of the Top 100 Companies to Work for in the whole of the UK! – an amazing achievement in such a challenging year, which we’re really proud of. We were also named one of the Top 5 Best Retail Companies to Work For.

These scores are based on a really thorough assessment by Best Companies: an independent, authoritative research company who specialise in workplace engagement. This allows us to benchmark ourselves against others in our industry – seeing where we’re doing well, and where we can do better.

All co-owners were invited to fill out a detailed survey about their experience working with us, completely anonymously. We received a great number of responses, and scored particularly highly on the following questions:

  • “I believe this organisation does enough to protect the environment”
  • “This organisation is run on strong values/principles”
  • “My manager cares about me as an individual”
  • “I feel proud to work for this organisation”

Overall, we received a two-star “Outstanding” score. There’s only one score above this, three-stars “World Class”, which very few companies make it into – but we’ve got our sights on it for the years ahead!

Real Living Wage employer

Riverford, along with 7000 other progressive business across the UK, is an accredited Real Living Wage employer.

The National Living Wage is the minimum hourly rate employers are allowed to pay employees aged 23 or over, set annually by the Government. The Real Living Wage is different; it’s a recommendation, independently calculated every year by the Living Wage Foundation, and is voluntary on the part of employers.

The Real Living Wage is consistently higher than the Government’s National Living Wage. It’s widely considered to be a more realistic calculation of how much a worker really needs to earn to cover the basic cost of living, which includes expenses such as rent, food, and utility bills.

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