January 2021 Newsletter

By 15th January 2021 No Comments

Happy New Year!

In this month’s newsletter, we look at the importance of contingency planning.

If 2020 taught us anything, it was that with a backup plan, the ability to adapt and a clear crisis comms strategy in place, many businesses can withstand a major threat to business continuity whether it be a global pandemic such as Covid-19, a natural disaster e.g. flooding or a utility outage or cybersecurity breach. (click for information about Cybersecurity for Farmers).

But what about the more likely (and often unplanned for) minor disruptions to business? An ox for example….!

February 12th marks the start of the Year of the Ox in the Chinese calendar. Oxen are described as the hard workers in the background, intelligent and reliable, but never demanding praise.

It is likely that you have an ‘Ox’ in your organisation: an individual who performs undocumented tasks unknown to everyone else.

Imagine if they suddenly left…

… What would you need to get back to normality quickly?

That is the basis for your continuity plan. Scottish Business in the Community has created a 10 Minute Plan to help small to medium-sized businesses prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. (Our friends Greenburn Recruitment can advise on all aspects of HR including talent management)

As the Bard said, the best-laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men gang aft agley, so make sure you regularly check your disaster recovery plans rather than test unfamiliar procedures in the middle of a crisis!

On a similar subject, succession planning is a nettle that all farming families need to grasp. You just never know what is around the corner. It’s a sensitive subject, fraught with legal, technical and emotional difficulties and in an OnFARM podcast last month, Monty enlisted law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn to talk through the issues.  The most recent episode heard powerful messages of frustration and fury from Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and leading seed potato breeder and merchant Agrico UK Ltd who, along with many Scottish food exporters, find themselves having to navigate a sea of post-Brexit red tape.

You can listen to this and all episodes of OnFARM (including a virtual drinks reception to celebrate Moredun Research Institute’s centenary) here:

Take a look at the new website of Old Newton Farm, commercial deer producers and suppliers of breeding stock – – let us know if your website needs a refresh!

Looking for inspiration for Burns’ Night? The Batch Lady (aka Suzanne Mulholland) has made a video showing how to make Haggis Stuffed Chicken using Scotland’s most awarded haggis from McCaskie Butchers). Suzanne also has a recipe for vegetarian haggis, neeps and tatties.

We’ve previously mentioned the importance of awareness days in social media marketing and again we have listed some upcoming February dates that you might find helpful:

12 – Chinese New Year

(For research and insights into the Chinese market, see Visit Scotland’s dedicated page on visitors from China.)

14 – Valentines Day

15 – 50 years since Decimalisation introduced in the UK

16 – Shrove Tuesday

17 – Random Act of Kindness Day

Leave a Reply