Riverford Farm v Abel and Cole - which one should I choose?

(25 Posts)
Kellamity Wed 20-Jun-12 09:58:42

Thinking of getting a veg box but can't decide between the two companies. Any experience?

McPhee Wed 20-Jun-12 10:00:09

Don't waste your money

Supermarkets sell veg

Half of it you won't use, or not know what the hell it is.

bettys Wed 20-Jun-12 10:07:59

A friend of mine runs one of the Riverford areas so I would recommend them! I have an allotment (and live miles away from her area) which is the only reason why I don't use them but was tempted to anyway by their recent free offer of the Riverford recipe book.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 20-Jun-12 10:10:14

Give each a month trial and see which you prefer.

Kellamity Wed 20-Jun-12 10:19:04

Yes that's what I am going to do, trial each for a month. Have just ordered a river ford box smile

UnChartered Wed 20-Jun-12 10:23:17

i use Riverford regularly

the meat is very expensive, but it's top quality stuff (i don't eat it, but if i did, this would be my choice of supplier failing local supply)

the veg is top quality and they have a recipe leaflet each week with suggestions on how to use it, and the website and fb page is full of ideas. our local veg women are brilliant, they take care to leave your box/es in a safe place if you're not in, with ice packs etc if it's warm. one time they left me the wrong cheese (double gloucester instead of cheddar) and came back later in the day to exchange - i hadn't even noticed blush

i'm a bit of a fan grin

isthistheendthistime Wed 20-Jun-12 10:31:38

I've used both. I prefer A&C as you can specify extensive lists of likes/dislikes online so don't end up with anything you won't eat. And their website is better. Some things are slightly more expensive, but I reckon it averages out about the same. But Riverford is more local/independent if you prefer that.

Kellamity Wed 20-Jun-12 10:35:04

Yes I liked the like/dislike option with A&C but as you say they aren't as local as Riverford. I have ordered a medium veg and a medium meat box to start with. I'll see how I get on.

RevoltingChildren Wed 20-Jun-12 10:39:34

I used Abel & Cole for about a year and the quality very poor. Veg went off very quickly and as they delivered on a Monday in my area it had often give mouldy by Sunday

I now use riverford and the quality is great. It tastes so different to supermarket veg and generally keeps much better. The downside is the boxes contain too many onions for me which I don't use.

LucyEyelesbarrow Wed 20-Jun-12 10:49:46

We use Riverford and are very pleased with them. I like that you can choose a different box every week if you want to; I go online on a Friday, see what's in my regular box, and change to a different one if I need more fruit and veg that week/ don't like the sound of the box. We were with a local box delivery company previously, where we had a set box and listed the veg we didn't like; I find Riverford much more flexible.

We've found the quality and taste to be consistently much better than supermarket produce, apart from the odd woody carrot here and there.

The produce isn't too unusual and we eat a lot more fruit and veg and have more varied meals - because the veg keeps changing with the seasons, we haven't got stuck in the rut of buying and eating the same familiar food.

Another plus for me - but would also apply to A&C - is that my DDs are so interested in the boxes arriving and will trawl through the fruit box, particularly, to find out what's there; it has made them more interested in fruit and veg and in cooking with it.

SpringHeeledJack Wed 20-Jun-12 11:01:00

I used A&C for a year or so but switched to Riverford a couple of years ago.

A&C is more like a shop, in that you have much more choice over what you get. They got on my tits because they seemed to be presenting themselves as a sort of Boden-y lifestyle brand. I got fed up to the back teeth with advertising leaflets and catalogues from different companies in my veg box- all for unrelated products.

Riverford mean it more, I think. I love em

because they gave me a free spud scrubbing brush and the delivery lady is nice

SpringHeeledJack Wed 20-Jun-12 11:02:11

plus I have never had off/on the turn veg in my Riverford box- can't say the same of A&C

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 20-Jun-12 11:07:30

I like A&C. As mentioned above, the likes and dislikes thing is very useful. Also, on the odd occasion when I've told them that I got something that was mouldy or never ripened or whatever, they've apologised and put a bit of credit on my account.

Also my order hadn't arrived by late afternoon one day and they sounded genuinely, massively concerned and mortified about it. And then when it did arrive and I rang them to let them know, they sounded just as genuinely pleased for me grin.

Nice company, good produce.

TheFoodOfLove Wed 20-Jun-12 11:09:09

Riverford fruit and veg much fresher and of a better quality, but get a lot of stuff we don't need/use. So swapped to using A&C as you can opt out of specific items in the box when you are placing the order. When I have the time I cancel the box and go to the local market. Fresher and cheaper than both.

Daniel1111985 Wed 30-Jan-13 14:16:45

I would definately choose Riverford, Guy Watson (Owner) Farmer of the Year (again). Great produce and easy delivery, great for me and my little boys who love fruit and veg

PhoebeLaura Wed 30-Jan-13 16:10:30

Definitely riverford - Abel & Cole started sending rotten veg. Riverford much better quality. You can always alternate between large and small box, or get box every fortnight if you find it's too much to use up.

I love getting a box and the kids love looking through it every week and learning about new fruit and veg.

getoffthecoffeetable Wed 30-Jan-13 16:15:12

We have Riverford and they're really good. You can check what's going to be in a box and change it to different order if it's something you don't like

upinthehills Wed 30-Jan-13 16:17:21

Hope you like Swedes!!!

I think Riverford have the better reputation now.

Allinonebucket Wed 30-Jan-13 17:12:33

Riverford all the way.

snowballinashoebox Wed 30-Jan-13 20:24:38

Another Riverford vote.
Excellent quality veg, the meat is expensive but I would rather eat better meat less often and the recent meat scares have reinforced that for us.

byanymeans Thu 31-Jan-13 14:09:05

I used a&c for 2years ish but when we moved I found we had 2local indepedant veg box one is great the other not so good. Needless to say I use the better local one and its cheaper then a&c. It worth a google to see whats local indepant veg boxs there are around you.

nannyl Thu 31-Jan-13 14:23:36

I have used both (when nannying for different families)

personally i prefered riverford over able and cole

but i prefer my ocado organic veg box over both of those

Ginismyfriend Thu 31-Jan-13 14:40:19

I found Abel & Cole were brilliant to start with, but then the contents started to get less fresh and I was increasingly having to throw things away the day after they'd been delivered because they were only fit for soup.

We switched to Riverford and I've been really happy with it - we get a small fruit and veg box and get through everything. Not being able to exclude things is a bit of a pain but it forces us to be a bit more adventurous!

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