EPISODE Three (EP3) has been awarded the contract by the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) for the analysis of live sheep exports.
EP3 will compile a wide range of objective, relevant, factual data from its analysis of the commodities markets and its independent survey of live sheep export trade supply chain participants, to complete a report titled, 'Phasing Out Live Sheep Exports from Australia with Minimal Impact to Farmers and Supply Chain Participants'.
This report will assist the independent panel with its final report to Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt, which is due on September 30.
EP3 was founded by Andrew Whitelaw and Matt Dalgleish in 2022.
Mr Whitelaw and Mr Dalgleish have worked together since 2016 analysing commodity markets for Ruralco/Nutrien Ag Solutions initially, then in 2020 formed Thomas Elder Markets (TEM), supported by Elders, before buying the business themselves and becoming Episode 3.
According to its founders, EP3 is an independent, data-driven market analysis service that provides premium insights and reports to the agriculture industry, food manufacturing sector and their associated markets.
EP3 assists agricultural stakeholders to make more informed decisions, to drive profitability, through robust analytical assessment.
The business states it on its website that it upholds the core values of:
Objectivity: Judgement based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices.
Independence: Freedom from control or influence of another or others.
Integrity: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
Experience: Knowledge, skill, or practice derived from the direct observation of, or participation in, a particular activity.
When originally announced on April 14, businesses were given a six day window to put together a tender, work on the report was set to begin on April 24 and the finalised economic and agronomic impact report was to be handed to the panel on June 30.
However, it is understood there were no acceptable tenders placed, so DAFF reopened the process and EP3 was chosen to complete the scope of work.
"Analysing the raw data and demonstrating how it affects the greater value chain and related industries as an independent business, in an objective manner, is what we will do," Mr Whitelaw said.
The scope of this report is very focused on the independent panels requirements to have access to data that will best assist them in being able to make informed recommendations in its report to Mr Watt.
The announcement of EP3 as the successful contract applicant comes as Mr Whitelaw and Mr Dalgleish travelled to Western Australia this week to meet with WAFarmers, the Pastoralists and Graziers' Association of WA, farmers, wool industry representatives, processors and other members of the live sheep export supply chain to consult and engage, ensuring they thoroughly cover all aspects of the markets involved.
The contract announcement has been welcomed by many within the industry who were worried a less experienced and knowledgeable business would be tasked with producing such an important and pivotal document to the panel.
Industry insiders said the report needed to be compiled by someone or an organisation that understood commodity markets and has a grasp of what role the live export trade has, in relation to the supply chain, to other agricultural industries and to regional communities in WA.
EP3 provides the public with free data and analytics via its popular Twitter page @Episode3net.
The contract's value of $319,500 was incorporated in the $5.6 million budget set aside for the consultation process and works out at about a third of the value of the cost of the independent panel chairman Phillip Glyde's predicted total of $912,800, for the initial evaluation of 160 days required work at a daily rate of $1541, and is less than the slated $336,600 set aside for consultation costs such as travel, accommodation and venue hire.
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