Farm fresh organic produce delivered right to your door every week, grown for flavour, rather than mass retail sale, oh and the delivery part is free! Sounds too good to be true? You might be surprised to learn it's not! All the details and your questions are answered right here in this Riverford veg box review.
Over twelve thousand people on Trustpilot agree, like me, Riverford veg box deliveries are AMAZING, their Trustpilot rating is a whopping 4.9 out of 5 stars overall at the time of writing and they are number 1 on Trustpilot for organic veg boxes.
In this review I'll discuss what a veg box delivery is, more about Riverford and how to get money off your box, how to order and use the Riverford app/website, details about the delivery itself, the quality of the produce, recipe ideas using the produce and a full list of pros and cons of the service. Let's delve in.
Oh by the way, throughout this article click on any 'Riverford' link to claim your £15 credit on a veg box from Riverford, that's my personal referral code and yep I'll get £15 credit too. Riverford will even plant a native tree on their farmland for good measure! No Riverford discount code is needed, simply click one of the Riverford links to redeem.
It is worth me making clear that here on my Tried and Loved blog, I only write about products and services I truly LOVE, that's why I rave all things Peloton on here haha, I'm obsessed! Anyway, I digress, rest assured, Riverford is genuinely awesome!
What exactly is an organic veg box delivery?
Organic veg boxes contain produce fresh from the farm and free from added chemicals. Veg are grown for flavour and not commercial-scale demand. Plus, organic veg boxes help support local farmers, at Riverford 80% of their produce is grown here in UK farms.
By having a weekly box of freshly delivered seasonal veg, you are encouraged to eat/cook seasonally, again supporting non-mass-commercial-growing, as well as encouraging you to add more veg in general to your diet.
My boxes of delectable produce certainly help me avoid waste. I love to use up every last leaf of my delivery, and as we are all most likely very aware right now, lowering our food waste plays a big part in helping to look after our planet.
"Cutting food waste can help the climate. Every day in the UK we waste 20m slices of bread, 280 tonnes of poultry, 4.4m potatoes and much more. Households squander about 70% of the UK's 9.5m tonnes of waste food every year. About a third of all the world’s food goes to waste, and producing, transporting and letting that food rot releases 8-10% of global greenhouse gases" - The Guardian*
Why a Riverford veg box?
Established in 1986 by one man (Guy Watson) from a corner of his parent's farm in Devon to feeding thousands via 4 regional sister farms, all whilst maintaining their authentic process, Riverford has stood the test of time and describe themselves as 'proper farmers with mud on their shoes'.
Riverford grow truly organic produce, they never spray their crops with chemicals, they care for the soil, the wildlife on their land and the farmers. Riverford are winners of The Observer’s Ethical Product of the Decade for their iconic veg boxes
Here's a snippet from Riverford.co.uk* about what they do:
Instead of selecting fruit and veg varieties for their high yields, and pushing them on with artificial fertilisers, we focus on taste above all else. After decades of growing, we believe in the pursuit of four simple rules for flavoursome veg:
Look after your soil, and it will look after the crop.
Choose the right variety – all carrots were not created equal!
Grow it in the right conditions – slowly, naturally, letting the flavour develop.
Eat it fresh from the farm.
Riverford uses local delivery drivers, all of which will be driving 100% electric cars by 2025.
All of Riverford's fruit and veg packaging is either home compostable or made from paper, that's if it's needed at all. Riverford save 21 tonnes of plastic every year!
Oh, and their delivery boxes are reusable, you leave them out for the delivery driver to collect, boxes can be reused up to 10 times!
Riverford's produce is great tasting! More about that and what products they offer next...
How to order your Riverford organic veg box delivery
It's as easy as 1, 2, 3... via the Riverford.co.uk website or app
Enter your postcode to see what your delivery day is
Choose what veg, fruit, or other type boxes you want and select a size and frequency
Enter your details and boom you're in!
What types of boxes are available for delivery at Riverford?
Choose your box from these options:
Veg boxes (with varieties such as seasonal, quick, familiar favourites, 100% UK, squash box and more)
Fruit & veg boxes (and varieties)
Salad boxes (and varieties)
Fruit boxes (and varieties)
Meat boxes (and varieties)
Christmas Boxes (and varieties)
Select your size box: Small (feeds 1 to 2 people), Medium (feeds 2 to 3 and that's the one my wife and I order) or Large (feeding 3 to 4 people)
The only downside to this format of sizing is there is never a weight or number of each item listed, so planning a recipe with specific quantities/weights is a bit of a gamble, but you get used to the rough portion sizes after a few deliveries.
Select the frequency of your box deliveries: Every 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks.
Do you have to choose set veg boxes?
No you don't. Pre-determined veg boxes are the most cost-effective way to buy produce from Riverford, and I find it makes me try new foods, methods and recipes. However, you can choose to select items individually and I've used this option on occasion.
I have a regular weekly veg box delivery (familiar favourites - medium size), and I plan my meals around what's in the box, however, if I have something in particular I want to cook, I'll pause the regular box that week and make up my own delivery of individual items.
You can of course have a regular box and add individual items to it, including cupboard staples like dairy, cheese, eggs and bread.
Want to change items a couple of days before delivery?
No problem, you can make changes up to 11:59 pm 2 days before your delivery date. For example, I can make changes up to Tuesday at 11:59 pm for a Thursday delivery.
The app and website are both so intuitively designed, adding, changing or doing anything on the site/application is simple. You'll also get an email confirming what changes you make each time you edit your delivery
My Riverford deliveries have always arrived on the day they say they will, although if it's before 8:30am, the delivery driver won't knock. I think that's so they don't wake you, however, they'd be disturbing my morning Peloton spin at that time if they did, so I appreciate being left to sweat. See, I told you I was Peloton obsessed!
The only downside, compared to your standard supermarket delivery, is Riverford doesn't provide a delivery time slot, but you can leave a delivery note on your account for the driver to know where to leave the box if you are out. Handy!
When my box arrives it always looks so colourful and fresh, not commercially shiny and polished but a bit wobbly, odd-shaped on occasion, and muddy- all in a good way! I get a satisfying feeling that my gut is going to thank me for nature's goodies I've chosen to feed it.
Riverford veg box quality
All deliveries I've received so far from Riverford have not only looked great and been easy to order, they have been flavourful and lasted as long as, if not longer than expected. This has something, I imagine, to do with how they are packed.
For example, the chestnut mushrooms I previously brought from Tesco, arriving in a plastic container, would get that slimy coating after a few days, whereas the Riverford mushrooms comes in a cardboard container and stay as fresh-looking as the day they arrived, even after 5 days or so.
The Riverford website offers a brilliant A-Z of veg library, detailing how to store, prep and cook your vegetables, as well as cool info like what those vegetables go well with. It even tells you who grew yours and all the varieties available.
This information is also available in Riverford's seasonal recipe book, I got mine free when I signed up. It's pretty epic and is on hand at all times in my kitchen for inspiration and knowledge on how to best look after my delivered produce. Here is one of my favourite recipes, (or a similar version at least), from the book...
Carrot and Coriander Soup Recipe
See my @foodwholefood Instagram page for this recipe and many more
Serves 2 / 40 minutes total
400g purple carrots peeled and chopped
1 onion chopped
1/2 sweet potato chopped small
300ml veg stock
Handful fresh coriander
Serve with rye sourdough or wholemeal pitta
Sweat onions and carrots in a dash of oil for 20 minutes on low heat
Add potato and cook for a further 20 mins
Add veg stock and cook for further 5 mins, meanwhile...
Toast almond flakes in a dry pan (and set aside)
Add almost all the coriander to carrots etc and blitz
Serve with toasted almonds and remaining coriander and side of choice (above)
What's the price of Riverford's organic veg boxes?
Small veg boxes start at around £12.65, medium £15.35 and large £20.55. Fruit starts at £8.45 and salad boxes start at £9.15. You can't really calculate how good the value is in comparison to other veg supplier options, as quantities and weights vary. But based on what I'm now not spending in Tesco, I'd say it's almost the same price-wise as a Tesco shop for similar items. However, it does work out approximately 10-15% more expensive at Riverford on the weeks I choose to add items individually.
The upside is, regardless of price, I waste so much less with a Riverford veg box, not just due to great shelf life, but because it's so delicious I'd be mad at myself or letting any go to waste.
My overall conclusion to Riverford veg boxes with pros and cons
Easy to use app/website
Organic untreated produce
Produce good for a healthy gut
Less food waste
Helps local farmers
Encourages me to try new food
Encourages me to try new recipes
Encourages me to eat seasonally
Produce is full-flavoured
In-depth library of veg information
Good value for money
Ability to pause boxes or change boxes easily
Bespoke boxes available
Great communication from the company
You can't book an exact delivery time-slot
You don't know the exact weight/quantity of each item coming
You can't take out an individual item you don't like (but you can make a note of up to 3 items on your 'no thanks' list - so if that item is due for delivery in a set box you'll be notified by email)
It can work out expensive if you add items individually rather than order predetermined boxes.
For me, the pros of Riverford veg boxes far outweigh any cons. Before signing up to Riverford, I'd been saying to my wife for some time- 'I'd love to learn to cook more seasonally' and my wish came true!
I look forward to using Riverford veg boxes throughout the upcoming seasons and learning new ways to enjoy produce when it's at its natural best.
Author - Tried and Loved