Ethics & ethos

Why Riverford?

Live life on the veg with us

Ethical organic veg. Delivered.

Proper farmers with mud on our boots, we’ve been growing organic produce for over 30 years. Unashamedly nerdy about veg, we always choose the tastiest varieties – and never spray your food with artificial nasties. Caring for the soil and wildlife on our land, as well as the other growers and makers in our community, is at the heart of everything we do.

Our mission is to provide you with the best of the season. Spuds like your grandad used to grow, the crunchiest cauliflower and the carrotiest carrots, all delivered to your doorstep with minimal fuss and unbeatable quality. And better yet, it’s all 100% organic.

What is an ethical vegetable?

We believe organic is the best show in town – for the environment, for our farms, for animals, and for us That’s why everything we grow, make and sell is 100% organic.

But what happens between the farm gates and your plate is largely beyond the reach of organic certification. Are organic blueberries airfreighted from Kenya a sound ethical choice? Or organic milk from farmers paid a pittance, because retailers treat their produce as a loss leader? Inspired by the principles of organic, we make sure that in everything we do, we do better. That's why our iconic veg boxes were named The Observer's Ethical Product of the Decade.

  • Riverford is owned by its staff. Since 2018, Riverford has been an employee-owned business. That means we’re free to make sure everyone is treated fairly – from the bees in our fields, to your local delivery team.
  • We never air freight. And across the year, around 80% of our veg is UK-grown. Find out more about how we're making Riverford sustainable.
  • We treat other farmers fairly. We're committed to working with a network of growers & makers who we know and trust, agreeing good prices well in advance and always sticking to those prices.
  • All our fruit and veg packaging is now home compostable, where packaging is needed at all. We also collect your box from your doorstep to reuse up to 10 times! Learn more about our packaging.

Farmers who deliver

Riverford began in 1987, when Guy Singh-Watson started growing organic veg in a field of his parents’ Devon farm and delivering it to local friends. We’ve come a long way from one man and a borrowed tractor – but farming keeps our feet firmly on the ground.

We still grow mountains of veg on our original Devon farm, three regional sister farms, and our farm in France (where a bounty of colourful spring crops are ready a few vital weeks ahead of the UK season). You can read more about each of our organic farms below – and you’re welcome to visit, anytime.

Veg nerds

Guy's rant - are supermarkets killing flavour?

After decades of growing hundreds of different veg, going to countless seed trials, obsessively testing and tasting varieties grown in different soils, we believe in the pursuit of four simple rules for flavoursome veg:

  1. Look after your soil, and it will look after the crop.
  2. Choose the right variety – all carrots were not created equal!
  3. Grow it in the right conditions – slowly, naturally, letting the flavour develop.
  4. Eat it fresh from the farm.

Our seasonal organic veg boxes bring you the absolute best of every season, delivered from our farms to your door within 48 hours. From old favourites done right, to the weird and wonderful world of kohlrabi, salsify, oca and cardoons – it’s all grown for maximum flavour.

Flavour-packed veg is a great start; next you need to know how to cook it. We include inspiring seasonal recipes with every box, to help you make the most of all that good stuff.

Your local veg team

Our boxes are brought to your doorstep (delivered free!) by our own veg teams – never couriers. Not just a delivery service, your local team is a font of veg know-how; chat to them about anything from what’s happening back on the farm, to recipe ideas for that week’s box.

All quality, no premium

We want our veg boxes to be competitively priced as well as top quality, fresh and organic. Box contents are planned over a year in advance; every veg has a home before the seed goes in the ground. That allows us to keep our buying commitments to other farmers, minimise waste, and keep our prices down.

Every month, we compare our veg box prices against the equivalent organic veg in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. Our boxes are very competitive – and often come out a bit cheaper. Last year, our veg boxes averaged 5% less than the supermarkets.

Award-winning Riverford

We’re lucky to have received a bumper crop of awards for what we do, including the Observer’s Ethical Product of the Decade and several Soil Association Best of the Organic Market (BOOM) awards. Our customers have also voted us the UK’s #1 rated organic veg box on Trustpilot.

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