First they ignore you…Then they laugh at you, then fight you, then imitate you, and finally they claim it was their idea all along. So goes the homily on change.
When the first organic veg boxes were delivered by us freaks on the fringe 35 years ago, plant-based eating and climate change were the concerns of a tiny, far-sighted minority. Now, food delivery has caught the attention of the venture capitalists, all hoping to catch the wave of new shopping and eating habits and environmental awakening.
The dust is starting to settle on a turbulent 15 months. In that time, home delivery of food, consideration of its environmental impact, and agricultural policy have all evolved rapidly. We must decide where Riverford fits into the larger waters we now swim in; how to stay honest ourselves, and drive honesty in those around us.
The Veg Revolution
Organic veg is what we do best, and always will be. More than ever, we believe veg has the power to inspire real, bold change: through what we grow, how we grow it, and how you cook and eat it. Here is a glimpse of how we see our future:
- Helping you continue to cook and enjoy veg in revolutionary new ways. From the best tasting veg in every box, to more unique varieties, new recipes, and creative cooking kits to inspire veg-based meals. Seasonal vegetables will be at the heart of every plate.
- Removing waste from your kitchen. Look out for more pioneering packaging (patent free, because we want other companies to use it too), and low plastic recipe boxes.
- Localising and decarbonising your food. As part of this broad project, we have already launched a small 100% UK Veg Box. In the next several years, better storage and more polytunnels will widen our range of UK veg and reduce imports year round.
- A considered route to carbon neutral. First and foremost, we will reduce emissions in all areas, however unglamorous (from electric vans to refrigerant gas). What we cannot avoid, we will offset using UK nature-based solutions that aid biodiversity.
- Inspiring others by proving that business can be a force for good, even as we grow. We will pay the voluntary living wage from this autumn, and continue to share profits (and decisions) with the employees who collectively own 77 per cent of Riverford.
These changes are grounded in your kitchen; so, thank you. This is what the veg revolution is about – and you will soon start to see us talking more loudly about it.