The first raw sugar of the 2021 growing season has been shipped out of the Port of Mackay with many local cane growers eagerly watching on as raw sugar produced at their local mill headed south.

Wilmar’s Plane Creek grower marketing consultant, Angus McKerrow and Mackay Sugar Terminal mechanical supervisor, Hamish Beveridge said the Mackay port tour was organised to provide cane growers throughout the region with insight into the sugar supply chain from the farm to the supermarket shelf.

The raw sugar was loaded into the MV Mareeba bulk carrier and destined for Sugar Australia’s Yarraville Refinery in Melbourne where it will be processed into a variety of products for CSR Sugar and Australian food and beverage customers.

Mr McKerrow said nine growers from the Plane Creek region had attended the port tour and were excited to see the raw sugar from their local mills being loaded onto the ship.

“It was the first shipment for the 2021 season, so it was also about growers being present for that milestone: the first of the new season sugar to leave the region.”

Mr McKerrow said the growers got an appreciation for the processes around storing and loading sugar, and the procedures around quality sampling.

“The logistics of handling sugar from delivery, through to storage and loading are quite complex, and there are a lot of controls in place to maintain the quality of that sugar from port to port,” he said.

“Many thanks goes to Mackay Terminal Manager Mike Panke and Hamish Beveridge for facilitating such a great tour.”

The raw sugar departed Mackay Port on July 20 and was produced at Wilmar’s Plane Creek and Proserpine mills.