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Distributed organisations

Many social ventures try and avoid strict hierarchical structures by remaining small and by sub-dividing (like cells) or collaborating with other similar ventures. Some have adopted a franchised model, to allow each unit to remain relatively small, while benefitting from economies of scale for the group of ventures as a whole. This is the basis for the expansion of Riverford organics, which franchises distributors of its organic produce, while involving 12 sister farms in a co-operative of regional producers. This structure was intentionally adopted by the founder of Riverford, Guy Watson, to keep his venture small, and production local. The resulting network now delivers 47,000 organic food boxes a week.