FARM fresh produce from North Queensland is being distributed straight to local supermarkets via a Tully facility, saving thousands of kilometres in freight.
Mackay’s Farming has operated a packing and distribution warehouse in Tully for the past eight years and is looking to broaden its scope.
Mackay’s Farming director Cameron Mackay said the facility was initially used to ripen and distribute the Far North’s bananas to major supermarkets in North Queensland to save produce from being sent to Brisbane.
Mr Mackay said bananas were picked green and ripened at 14C-16C for six to seven days before being sent to Townsville for distribution to supermarkets from Mackay north.
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He said bananas were on the shelf in the north within a week of picking, whereas in Melbourne, it took 11-12 days. Mr Mackay said they had also distributed Tablelands avocados from the facility for the past four years.
“It is the biggest ripening facility in the north and it is centrally located, smack in the middle of North Queensland.
“In the North, it means it’s as little as seven or eight days from when they are picked to when they are on the shelves, where as further south like in Melbourne it would be closer to 11-12 days because of the freight in between.”
Mr Mackay said they had also been distribution avocados from the facility for the last three to four years.
“When avocados are in season in the Tablelands, we do it again to reduce freight. Before there was that facility it was down to Brisbane and back up again.
“It is the biggest ripening facility in the North and it is centrally located, smack in the middle of North Queensland.”
Mr Mackay said their aim would be to expand the services further, so that most produced produced in the North, including vegetables from the Bowen region, was distributed from Tully.
“It would make sense that anything grown up in the North goes in the there and stays in the region. We see that in the future for sure.”
Mr Mackay said they had installed 100kw of solar panels on the roof, which generated about a third of their power to keep their electricity costs down.