As copywriter at Riverford Organic, new Guild member Rachel Lovell draws on a career in publishing and broadcasting to promote the business and field enquiries received from national and local press.
“I love working for an organisation that has genuine integrity,” she says. ”Riverford was started by a farmer who believed that proper, tasty, unadulterated food should not be elitist but available to all, and that everyone should get a fair deal, from the growers through to customers and staff.”
After studying for a degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol and a science communication MSc from Imperial College, London (where she was awarded a £10,000 bursary from the Association of British Science Writers and the Wellcome Trust), Rachel spent eight years working in television.
“I researched science documentaries for Channel 4 and the National Geographic Channel, and veterinary/zoo programmes for the BBC, including Roar,” she recalls. “I also had a wonderful stint on Countryfile and was producing/directing on observational documentaries for BBC One including Vet Safari, where I filmed an English vet and her family relocating big game across South Africa, treating lions in Namibia and orang-utans in Borneo, and Seaside Rescue, where I filmed rescues with the RNLI and Coastguard.”
On relocating to Devon, Rachel moved into magazines and rural issues, most recently as editor of Somerset Life magazine, and food and farming writer on Devon Life.
“My roles now as copywriter at Riverford Organic include photography, videos, editing the newsletters and responding to the many press enquiries we receive,” says Rachel. “A highlight of our recent activities is the Bucking Bovines video, which went viral through YouTube and our Twitter/Facebook pages. It was picked up by the WSPA’s ‘Not in my Cuppa’ campaign and had more than 25,000 viewings.
Riverford’s ethical approach, she explains, extends to agreeing prices with growers and sticking with them, even if offered cheaper produce from elsewhere. And the company stopped using biodegradable plastic after research showed it is more environmentally damaging than using ordinary plastic (see riverfordenvironment.co.uk for details).
“Riverford has been voted Best Online Retailer in The Observer Ethical Awards for the past three years for this reason,” Rachel adds. “I’m so proud to work here, and I’ve never eaten so well in my life!”
She also finds time to indulge in other interests, among which Rachel includes photography, horse riding, eating pavlova and attempting to play the violin. “Jumping in puddles with my toddler and throwing stones in the river for our dog Devon to fetch are also things I like to as often as possible, “ she says.