A HUSBAND and wife team has been been recognised as the top organic vegetable box team in the region by produce suppliers Riverford.

Gareth and Gill Rossiter of Dorset are flying high again after scooping two awards with Riverford for their work as the Dorset veg team.

At the recent Riverford awards ceremony they were recognised as the top Riverford Veg Team in the South West and were also the runners-up in the National Riverford Veg Team award for 2017.

The self-professed 'veg nerds' took over the Dorset franchise in February 2014 following careers in the Royal Air Force and now deliver to more than 700 households across Dorset each week.

There are 70 Riverford franchisees up and down the country, all delivering award winning organic fruit, veg, meat and other organic produce to more than 47,000 customers through their iconic veg boxes and home delivery scheme. Every year at Riverford’s annual conference a franchise ‘veg team’ is recognised for their efforts in customer care, sales, business practice and brand building.

Riverford operations director Luke King said: "Gareth and Gill have continued to grow their business with sales up impressively on prior years.

"This performance has been fuelled by a passion for Riverford and what we stand for, coupled with a master class in recruiting local customers and superb customer service. Gareth and Gill are very deserving of these awards."

Gareth said: "When we won the Veg Team of the year award in 2015 we thought that was the pinnacle, and then in 2016 we received another award for our customer service.

"The care and dedication of our superb delivery drivers was recognised too, with Bob Thorne and Phil Bartlett runners-up in the Driver of the Year awards in 2015 and 2016.

"Thus we are totally delighted and a little stunned to have our sustained effort recognised in this way for 2017! There are many talented and dedicated Riverford veg teams around the country and to be singled out is humbling. From our perspective, other people do the incredibly hard work of growing and making the wonderful veg and produce, all we are doing is delivering it to our lovely customers, and doing our best to look after them in the process."

Gill added: "Since we started on this journey with Riverford in 2014 we have been inspired by the passion our Riverford Dorset ‘family’ of customers have for their organic produce, ‘proper’ food with provenance and all that Riverford stands for, including the award-winning ethical approach taken by Guy Watson.

"That in itself is a great reward and customer care is at the very heart of what we do – home delivery with a very personal touch, be that from Gareth and I, or from our fabulous team of hard-working and dedicated drivers."