I wanted to love Riverford... the idea of getting fresh organic fruit and veg - and supporting local farmers at the same time - I really wanted to love Riverford.
Unfortunately, Riverford's business practices have really put me off.
I understand the idea of seasons and I also understand that sometimes nature decides that there won't be enough of an item to fill all of the weekly boxes, meaning that substitutions are necessary. What I DO NOT understand, is taking items out of the box (often the nicest items in the weekly box) only to sell them as more expensive add-on items.
When I queried this with Riverford, I was told that:
"In this situation is seems better to put what we have on the extras list so that people who really want it can order it."
The flaw in this argument is that we KNOW we want what's in the weekly box - but we DO NOT know that we won't get it - meaning that we can't even order it as an add-on for fear of getting double!
They have taken the idea of a CSA (community supported agriculture) scheme and twisted it to the point of perversion.
We have had Riverford veg boxes for the last 9 years, since the children were babies. The vegetables are OK - certainly no better in terms of quality than you could buy from Waitrose, and with variable quality - sometimes fresh, sometimes really not. Nothing special, but having a weekly delivery made us eat more vegetables than if we buy them as we need them.
But what has caused us to cancel our order today has been their attitude to my wife when they have been unable to credit a payment that my wife made - frequent demands for proof that she had made a payment, when our bank had confirmed that the payment had been made to Riverford (on exactly the same terms and with the same details that we have used for 9 years). Their chap on the phone was rude and insensitive - arrogant, in short.
I really don't want to deal with a company that rates itself more important than its customers.
I recieved my first and last riverford boxes today, I bought a favorites box at £15.35, a fruit bag at £6.95 and a winter warmer box at £29.95. The meat was partially frozen, a big no no to me, the fruit was partially frozen, who wants frozen oranges? and the veg was limp and very poor quality with soft onions, bendy carrots and yellow brocolli. I feel like i have been robbed, I am hugely dissapointed, i did not expect pretty looking veg but I did expect it to be fresh. All I can say is that I am horrified and disgusted that I was offered NOTHING in return for my poor experience, I would have liked to have been offered what I paid for but sadly not, so with my veg in the compost and my cheap cuts of meat on the broil for the dog I would like to say that I shall not be using this company again. My advice to them would be to stop the showy advertising and put the money into quality control!
I used this company for a while and their food is good. But when I signed up I was told there would always be some alternatives on the van for swaps. We are allergic to tomatoes and they were in every box. There were never any swaps so I was paying for food that I had to give away !
Customer service was not helpful and when I went to cancel they were pushy and kept trying to get me to have bigger or smaller boxes. Abel and Cole are better.
Had a weekly delivery for years, how they manage to keep to their ethics and still produce such quality product is inspirational. Help to keep our city based family in tune with the seasons and what's happening down on the farms with superb weekly updates.
I find it difficult to find good organic meat in local peterborough supermarkets and the appearance tends to put me off even Marks and Spencer chicken breasts sucks! Now I shop only my meat from Riverford organic and its worth it!
What more can I say? Delivered straight to your door (for free!). The veg boxes are great value for money. I don't think you could even get that range at that price in the supermarket and certainly not the same quality. Meat is a bit more pricey but worth it to know where it's coming from. I always find the meat boxes have too much red meat in them but have purchased random cuts and a chicken here & there. They really do care about the products they're selling