This is a business with a simple approach; Riverford grow (or source), harvest and pack the produce, and transport it to your hub; you collect and deliver it to your customers. Riverford grow the vegetables, you grow your business.
Riverford is different – it's not just about the money. It is all about people and food - especially their shared passion for growing and eating fresh, seasonal, organic food.
The Riverford Farms Business is showing sustained year-on-year growth in delivery numbers, is a multi-award winning business and a full member of the BFA. Their franchise owners are brand ambassadors across the country; building relationships with, and delivering to, thousands of loyal customers each week.
Riverford's founder, Guy Watson, set out to sell his ethically grown organic food to as many people as possible after being tired of the way big supermarkets were treating their smaller suppliers,
Starting with just a handful of customers (actually friends he coerced, who then became customers) living close to the family-owned farm in Devon, Guy's home delivery vegbox scheme quickly caught on.
With the rapid success of his novel fledgling business came a challenge: how to expand beyond ‘one man and a wheelbarrow’, maintain a strong ethical focus and not compromise on the quality of the produce. The answer was to offer like-minded people the chance to join the company as franchise owners.
Now 30 years later the Riverford Farms Business has a dedicated network of 56 franchise owners delivering tasty, seasonal organic produce to around 50,000 homes each week. Riverford is now the UK's leading home delivery vegbox scheme, and grows most of its own produce.
This business is hard work however it is also fun. You will get out of it what you put in. It's not rocket science but you really have to believe in what Riverford do to grow your business and reap the best rewards.
The most successful franchise owners have built their business from scratch to achieve a turnover of over £1million a year. Franchise owners of these bigger businesses tend to take more of a managerial role, but they like to keep their hand with the delivery round by covering for their drivers' holidays.
Franchise owners in smaller territories tend to work alone or as a couple - ‘owner-drivers' - whilst they get their business off the ground. As the number of deliveries per week increase over time, they take on drivers or admin staff to help.
As a franchise owner your days will consist of early starts delivering to your customers. They days are quite long but there is plenty of exercise and fresh air. Riverford pride themselves in seeing their deliveries to the door no matter what come rain, snow or shine! This sort of thing distinguishes Riverford from the competition.
Once the deliveries have been delivered you will need to go back home to your office to complete admin tasks such as:
In the spring and summer, you'll be out at shows and local events at weekends, finding new customers and strengthening relationships with your existing customers. In short, you'll be wearing many different hats to grow your business.
As Riverford has grown so has their product range. Fresh, seasonal organic veg is still their mainstay, but they're constantly sourcing new products from other artisan organic suppliers and have their own Dairy, Butchery and Farm Shops.
Aside from the fruit & veg, they offer an extensive range of:
The full Riverford Farms Business product range offers a heady mix to the discerning and ethical eater, and of course gives a major boost to the franchise owners' turnover. And bottom line profit.
With your marketing hat on and lots of help and assistance from Riverford, you will increase the number of new customers starting life with a vegbox each week. Then you'll keep them loyal to you and Riverford by delivering exceptional, personal customer service, and engaging them fully with your business – all the way from Riverford's fields to their plates.
Whilst you are using your local knowledge and expertise to become the Riverford brand ambassador within your territory, the Riverford team will look after the farming, hub logistics and brand marketing in the background.
It’s this harmonious balance between the macro and the micro, and a genuine passion for real food, good farming and ethical business that has enabled Riverford to flourish for nearly three decades.
Your focus will be to build and maintain a strong, engaged customer base loyal to you and Riverford, and the dedicated Riverford Head Office teams will support you all the way.
Starting anything new is daunting, especially your own business. But you’re never alone as a franchise owner. All franchise owners are handpicked via an intensive recruitment system to make sure you are well suited to your franchise territory. During this process, you will be encouraged to fully discover what life is like, and Riverford will help you compile comprehensive business plans to deliver your growth strategy.
The Riverford professional head office team will advise you how to research and set up the infrastructure to trade your business, and steer you through the legal process of buying a business.
Before you launch, you will receive comprehensive training to help you maximise every opportunity in your new business venture. Riverford covers everything from:
Once you are in place, the Riverford team will ensure you have the full support of their central teams for your first few critical weeks.
After that, the Riverford regional sales development managers will work with you to help you deliver your business plan effectively, and to achieve your growth targets.
When you buy a Riverford territory, you are buying the exclusive rights to trade under the Riverford brand identity, and via the established Riverford business model.
Riverford periodically has a number of resale territories available around the country. These are established territories with a certified trading history and active customer base. The investment level will therefore vary according to location, delivery numbers and turnover. A list of available Riverford territories can be found under the ‘resales’ tab.
Prices are exclusive of Riverford's launch set up, marketing and training fee.