Riverford Farm – re-thinking the way we work together, for good!

Riverford, the award-winning organic delivery company led by the indomitable Guy Watson currently delivers more than 47,000 boxes of organic fruit and veg to customers around the UK each week. That’s quite a change from the late 1980s when he began delivering veg personally to 30 friends in Devon.

What’s the story behind the success?

Riverford has connected farmers and growers with an extensive network of local representatives who share a love of organic food and farming. This ‘conscious collaboration’ is good for the environment, good for the farmers and suppliers, good for Riverford and good for the customer. For Riverford it required re-thinking what partnership means, and taking franchising, for many a dirty word and synonymous with inequality in the business relationships and reinventing it, ensuring it was fair and transparent, and based on shared values.

            a shared concern for excellence, care and stewardship of the planet…

The principles of shared concern for excellence, care and stewardship of the planet and its natural resources, and a desire to create a connection between people and farms and reduce inequality.

Key learning from Riverford:

-   Identifying common interests and the shared concerns of all stakeholders provides a collaboration opportunity and ultimately acts as a platform for success

-   For Riverford, re-thinking the way partnerships – in this case franchises – worked was vital for scaling up their business and meeting customer expectations.