Riverford has come a long way from its humble beginnings, 29 years ago as a one-man band delivering vegetables locally to a few friends in Devon.
As one of the UK’s pioneering vegbox delivery schemes, Riverford now packs and distributes over 47,000 boxes a week to homes around the UK via their network of franchisees.
Riverford began in 1987 when founder Guy Watson left behind his management consultant career in London to return to his parents’ South Devon farm and started growing veg. Early days saw the produce grown and delivered using only three acres and a wheel barrow. Fired by a determination to find a better way of getting healthy, sustainable produce from grower to consumer, Guy launched the home delivery scheme.
As the Riverford business expanded, so did the challenge of how to meet demand without compromising on their commitment to local growing and employment.
The solution was to team up with a cooperative of small scale local farmers who shared the same beliefs. There are now four Riverford farms across the UK and one in France.
In 1999 Riverford launched its franchise network, which now has 60 thriving franchisees who are Riverford’s brand ambassadors across the country; building relationships with, and delivering ethically grown organic produce to, thousands of loyal customers each week.
Guy Watson explains, “Our idea is to retain the social, environmental and economic advantages of small, local businesses, whilst sharing the advantages that scale gives.”
Riverford continues to develop its existing model by extending its current ranges, developing new products and investing in IT solutions and marketing.
With 29 years of experience, Riverford is a successful and independent business model which has remained loyal to its ethical values and ethos of ‘good food, good farming and good business’. It’s an exciting time to become a Riverford franchisee.
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