Organic veg box company Riverford will become 100% employee-owned this year, as founder Guy Singh-Watson sells his remaining shares in the business to its staff.
Guy will remain a co-owner of the business, sitting on its Trust Board and acting as a non-executive director, and continuing to act as an important voice in food and farming affairs.
All shares will now be held by the Riverford Trust for the benefit of all staff.
‘It has always been my plan to transition Riverford into a 100% employee-owned company. When the business became employee-owned in 2018, I wanted to ensure that the move was a successful one, and that the values of the business were safeguarded by its new owners and governance arrangements.
‘Since then, it’s been a privilege to witness the business grow in ways we couldn’t have predicted, all whilst remaining committed to its founding purpose: to balance the needs of customers, suppliers, the environment, and wider society, and provide fair and rewarding employment to our staff.
‘As for me, I don’t plan to be a stranger. In my role as trustee and non-executive director, I’m looking forward to working with the co-owners to further Riverford’s impact as a trailblazer in the UK when it comes to sustainability, climate action, good food, and fair treatment of our farmers.’
Founder of Riverford
Riverford has been owned by its employees since 2018, with Guy retaining 23% of shares.
Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength, growing turnover, profits and its investment in both planet and people.
Its governance model consists of the Trustees, the Board and the Co-Owner Council.
The Council meets once a month, and works with the two other governing bodies to grow the business whilst maintaining the founding values of sustainability and fair treatment of staff and suppliers – summed up in its commitment to ‘Good Food, Good Farming, and Good Business’.
The final transfer of shares to the Trust speaks to Riverford’s belief in co-owners as the best custodians of the success and ethics of the business.
‘We’re absolutely delighted that Riverford will become 100% owned by employees. Our co-owners are central to our business. As the driving force behind Riverford’s day-to-day operations, as well its long-term goals, they ensure that the company remains authentic, and true to its founding principles.
‘The Co-owner Council meets once a month, and works with the two other governing bodies to ensure Riverford’s long-term success. They leverage the power and voice of all Riverford’s co-owners, offering insight and perspectives from every part of our varied business – all to help our leaders make the best decisions.’
Riverford’s Director of People, Finance and Change