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Hawaiian farmers may need to recreate a business continuity plan

Hawaiian farmers have had to make multiple adjustments in their day-to-day operations in order to account for widespread drought.
Hawaiian farmers have had to make multiple adjustments in their day-to-day operations in order to account for widespread drought.

As Mother Nature is an exceedingly unpredictable force, businesses and organizations that rely on it for day-to-day operations should apply risk management strategies to ensure that threats can be properly mitigated.

Business continuity planning will help companies and organizations solidify recovery plans and help them plan for future situations where risk is a possibility.

For example, the Associated Press recently reported on Hawaiian farmers facing difficulties in its beef market. Originally, the island state created an economic plan that was backwards from other areas. Cattle ranchers would ship 40,000 live cattle each year to California, Kansas and other states and save just 4,000 for meat sales in-state.

The source reported that 95 percent of the beef eaten in Hawaii comes from the continental United States. However, with local interest leaning toward locally grown food and grass-fed beef, farmers were finally given an opportunity to make a change.

"In recent years, high grain and oil prices have made it less affordable to send cattle to the mainland for finishing," the article said. "At the same time, restaurants and grocery stores in Hawaii have seen more demand for premium local meat that's considered leaner, healthier, better for the environment and tastier."

Rancher and veterinarian Dr. Tim Richards – who is also president of the Hawaii Cattlemen's Association – told the AP that herds have shrunk 20 percent to 30 percent statewide in the past eight years, due in large part to drought.

When the cows don't put on enough weight to be taken to market, Richards said, the ranchers are forced to ship them to the mainland anyway to eat corn and grains before being sent to the slaughterhouse.

A company or organization could establish a business plan that works for a certain amount of time. However, a business continuity plan will help account for unexpected interruptions or when adjustments must be made in order to stay profitable.