Riverford founder Guy Watson is named BBC Farmer of the Year

The founder of the Riverford veg box business has been named Farmer of the Year in the BBC’s Food and Farming Awards.

Guy Watson established Riverford 25 years ago which now delivers fresh organic fruit and veg to thousands of customers every week.

The business includes Home Farm at Newby Wiske, North Yorkshire, where farmer Peter Richardson has been a partner with Riverford for some five years. Home Farm delivers to 4,000 homes every week in the region as well as the North West and North East.

The BBC award recognises Guy’s passion for organic food and his innovative and inspirational approach to running a sustainable business. He was specifically commended for rising to the challenge of sustainable intensification ““ producing more food using fewer resources.

Peter Richardson said: “It’s a great achievement for Riverford to be recognised in this way by our own industry. Here at Home Farm we are committed to the sustainable nature of the business while producing high quality organic produce for our customers.”

Guy said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to receive this award. From the outset, my aim has been to produce organic food with flavour, look after my team, my suppliers and the land, and encourage people to eat seasonally. Twenty five years on, Riverford has shown that all this is possible.”

Judge Adam Henson said: “We were looking for someone who is passionate about what they do, who is entrepreneurial, innovative and a great communicator and Guy Watson is all of those things.

“We wanted to find someone who had a good business model that was very sustainable and Guy ticks all the boxes so that was our reason for our choice: he has taken Riverford from a concept to a real business.”