• Choose 100% organic

    Everything Riverford grow, make and sell is 100% organic.

Riverford founder Guy Singh-Watson started farming organically 30 years ago and we’ve stayed true to it ever since. But what does ‘organic’ actually mean, in practical terms – for us and for you? And why are we so sure it’s the best show in town?

 

What is organic?

Organic farming, put simply, is a system of farming that works with nature rather than against it. This means:

  • Never using artificial pesticides or fertilisers. Almost 300 pesticides can routinely be used in non-organic farming. Organic farmers are permitted to use just 15, derived from natural ingredients such as garlic and clove oil, and only under very restricted circumstances.
  • No GM crops or animal feed
  • Exceptional standards of animal welfare

Just because it’s more natural doesn’t mean that organic farming isn’t rigorously controlled. For our food to be labelled as organic, we must meet strict rules set out in European law, and be inspected and certified by the Soil Association.

For nature

50% more wildlife on Organic farms

Agriculture is responsible for around 14% of total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and 50% of all nitrous oxide emissions (the largest ozone-depleting substance of this century). A big part of this comes from the use of artificial fertilisers, which require a tremendous amount of oil to manufacture and transport. If all the cultivated land in the UK was farmed organically, we could save 64 million tonnes of carbon over 20 years – equivalent to taking nearly a million cars off the road.

Artificial fertilisers and intensive farming methods are severely degrading the world’s soil (a finite natural resource that we collectively depend on for food production) at a rate of 24 billion tonnes every year. One-third of the world’s arable soils are now degraded, leaving less than one-sixth of the land on Earth suitable for growing crops.

Instead of artificial fertilisers, organic farms use crop rotation and companion planting. Each field is cycled through various crops over time. The sequences and combinations of plants are designed to keep the soil naturally fertile, well structured, and free of disease. The soil on organic farms contains, on average, 20% more organic matter.

The artificial pesticides used in non-organic farming don’t just kill the target pest. 75% of UK butterfly species have declined in the past decade, and eight of our 25 bumblebee species are threatened, with two already extinct. There is growing scientific evidence that this is linked to certain artificial pesticides. Organic farms, which use no artificial pesticides, are home to up to 50% more wildlife – made up of 30% more species.

Choose organic

When you choose a Riverford veg box (winner of The Observer’s Ethical Product of the Decade award), you choose 100% organic. The carrotiest carrots and the crunchiest cauliflower, all delivered to your doorstep with minimal fuss, unbeatable quality – and not an artificial chemical in sight.

 

References

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/aug/10/monsanto-trial-cancer-dewayne-johnson-ruling
https://www.soilassociation.org/organic-living/whyorganic/
https://www.soilassociation.org/our-campaigns/save-our-soil/