‘As a virgin to supermarket supply, I was shocked at the casual, abusive arrogance’

Guy Singh-Watson, Riverford

The best supply chains temper aggressive, short-term competition on price with efficient communication and trustworthy behaviour, argues organic veg specialist Riverford’s founder Guy Singh-Watson

Early in my farming career, I was negotiating for Riverford to supply organic lettuces, cabbages and potatoes to a chain of supermarkets. The buyer asked me to visit their London offices the following Thursday.

When I asked if we could make it Friday instead, the phone went dead. I rang back, explaining that I had been cut off, only to be told: “Look, sonny; when we whistle, you jump. The only question is: how high?”

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