Guy has worked hard his whole life to build what is now a hugely successful business that not only grows sustainable, organic vegetables… But is also 74% owned by the staff that run it. Guy’s knowledge of soil, vegetables and the farming industry as a whole is truly phenomenal. Learn this week the truth about farming and supplying to supermarkets, and why Guy is an anti-capitalist that believes the government NEED to not only help in the way food and farming are regulated – but also how they need to realise the true potential and genuine nature of human beings. Contrary and simply contagious – meet Guy Singh Watson.
When, in the 1990s, Guy Singh-Watson started delivering boxes of organic veg to neighbours and friends, he realised he was onto a winner. People loved the fact that the vegetables tasted great and were grown locally.
He probably didn’t realise just how big a winner it was. Today Riverford Organic Farmers supply boxes to between 50 and 60 thousand households a week and have a team of 700.
I was very excited to get to speak with Guy since I’ve read a number of his blogs about the impact of modern farming and monoculture. Guy really brings to life the impact such approaches of mass production are having on the soil, and how important soil is for all of us to be able to continue to live on planet earth. Fundamentally I wanted to learn whether ‘organic’ is really important and how much work should we, as the hospitality industry and the general public, be putting in to thinking about not only where, but how our fruits and vegetables are grown. To say Guy has an opinion or two on this is an understatement. But he makes the case eloquently and enthusiastically for change.
While the business has scaled up, the guiding principle behind it has not shifted, as you’ll know if you’ve ever watched Guy’s YouTube series, ‘Guy’s Rants’. For him, respecting the health of our soil, through traditional mixed farming rather than rigid specialisation, is vital for the health of us all.
Whether you agree with Guy or not, this programme will definitely make you think about consumer choice, and whether the world has gone mad in allowing us to choose delivery times to within 20 minutes or having little gem lettuces flown over from the States.
Should the era of getting what we want, when we want it, come to an end?
Cooking has always been a key part of Rosalind’s life. After teaching cooking in South Africa for three years, when coming back to the UK the dream of a cookery school lingered in Rosalind’s mind. As you’ll hear, it is not only cooking that lives in her heart – but teaching too. Rosalind is an amazing character with a big heart, who takes us back to what cooking really is this week – simple and a skill that is 100% essential to people of any age… Particularly in the era of the microwave and growth of sustainability.
At 75 years old, when most people are thinking about taking their foot off the gas, this week’s guest has plans to shake up the school curriculum.
Forget ‘Home Economics’ or ‘Food Technology’. Rosalind Rathouse’s vision is to offer every child aged between 5 and 15 the chance to go on an annual week-long intensive cookery course. She believes immersing the younger generation in the delights of baking bread or preparing a roast, would set them up for the rest of their lives – and give them real insight into nutrition and sustainability.
Rosalind knows what she’s talking about. Her teaching experience spans five decades, starting in South Africa in the late 1960s, with a bit of culinary bribery. And in the 16 years since her Cookery School at Little Portland Street opened, she has welcomed tens of thousands of students through its doors.
They include senior figures from all over Africa, taking part in Desmond Tutu’s African Leadership Institute Training Programme. And if you’re wondering what cookery has to do with executive coaching, all will become clear.
This weeks episode is a hole in one… Matt Grech-Smith had a successful career even in University. True entrepreneur spirit shines through in this episode, as he describes it… “Throwing yourself off a cliff and learning how to swim on the way down”. Matt and his business partner Jeremy are now successful founders of Swingers Crazy Golf – mastering the art of ‘Competitive Socialising’ as he describes it.