8.4.2008: Meldung: SunOpta Provides Update On Expansion
The Company continues to expand its product offering and recently announced that it had entered into an agreement with a major global retailer to provide a single serve chocolate soymilk, packaged in a Tetra Pak Prisma package utilizing vertically integrated SunOpta soy ingredients and expertise and a co-packaging partner. This business is expected to add an incremental $10 to $12 million in revenue per year upon achieving forecast production.
Based on continued demand for organic aseptically packaged beverages, the Company is completing an expansion of its aseptic packaging operations located in Alexandria, Minnesota. This expansion includes additional processing and packaging capabilities which will expand capacity by approximately 25%, bringing total capacity to in excess of 125 million liters per year. This expansion is nearing completion and is expected to be operational in May 2008. This new capacity will be used to meet the growing needs of existing customers plus position the Company to both expand its product offering and serve additional customers.
As part of the expansion of its processing capabilities, the Company has also completed a number of upgrades to its soybase processing facility located in Heuvelton, New York. This facility was acquired in August 2007, strategically expanding the Company"s soybase manufacturing capabilities to the east coast to serve growing customer requirements in Northeastern USA and Eastern Canada. With the completion of these upgrades a number of customers served from the mid-west are in the process of being shifted to this location, allowing the Company to serve new customers from existing facilities. The Company has recently finalized supply arrangements to provide organic soybase to a large Mexican dairy who is launching an organic soymilk to the Mexican market and is also working on a number of exciting soy opportunities as increased capacity is made available.
In 2005 the Company completed an expansion of drying facilities in Alexandria, Minnesota to facilitate the production of organic okara and organic soy fiber, using by-products from the production of soybase. Initial applications were focused on animal feed markets with a planned shift to applications in food grade products in the future. The Company is pleased to advise that it has now made this shift and has entered into agreements with a number of food manufacturers who are formulating this material into a wide range of food applications, increasing demand for these products beyond initial feed based applications.
SunOpta"s vertically integrated soymilk model is integrated from soy bean sourcing through to packaged products, ensuring SunOpta"s control of quality and organic certification and providing direct traceability from the farm gate to the retail shelf. Soy beans are sourced and initially processed at SunOpta"s facilities in Hope, Minnesota and Moorhead, Minnesota. The processed soy beans are then delivered to SunOpta"s soy based ingredient plants in Alexandria, Minnesota, Heuvelton, New York and Afton, Wyoming, or third parties when appropriate, where they are converted into liquid concentrated soybase or other soy based ingredients such as powders, oils, soybits and others. The concentrated soybase and related ingredients are then transported to SunOpta"s aseptic packaging facility, roasting and packaging facility or third party co-pack partners for packaging and subsequent delivery to our customers.
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food, supplements and health and beauty markets. The Company has three business units: the SunOpta Food Group, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged products; Opta Minerals Inc. (TSX:OPM) (66.7% owned by SunOpta), a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and SunOpta BioProcess Inc. which engineers and markets proprietary steam explosion technology systems for the pulp, bio-fuel and food processing industries. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector.
The SunOpta Inc. logo is available at http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3958
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to references to the expected terms of the proposed private placement and business strategies, competitive strengths, goals, capital expenditure plans, business and operational growth plans and references to the future growth of the business. These forward looking statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by the Company in light of its experience and its interpretation of current conditions, historical trends and expected future developments as well as other factors that the Company believes are appropriate in the circumstance. However, whether actual results and developments will agree with expectations and predications of the Company is subject to many risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to; the company"s ability to negotiate successfully the specific terms of the private placement with investors, general economic, business or market risk conditions; competitive actions by other companies; changes in laws or regulations or policies of local governments, provinces and states as well as the governments of United States and Canada, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Consequently all forward-looking statements made herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by the Company will be realized.
CONTACT: SunOpta Inc.
Jeremy N. Kendall, Chairman
Steve Bromley, President & CEO
Joseph Riz, Executive Vice President
John Dietrich, Vice President & CFO
Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer
905-455-2528, ext 103