SunOpta: Expansion in Allentown Facility
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SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta") (STKL) (SOY.TO), a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified and specialty foods, celebrates the grand opening of its newly expanded dual purpose consumer products facility in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The company recently completed the addition of aseptic processing capabilities at the facility, significantly boosting SunOpta's aseptic processing and filling footprint to better serve its customer base. The expansion, valued at approximately $25 million, is one of SunOpta's largest capital expansion projects to date and was completed on time and on budget. Commercial production has commenced and it is expected that volumes will ramp-up over the next 12 months.
The addition of aseptic capabilities in Allentown provides SunOpta a crucial competitive advantage in the growing aseptic processing business, giving the company a strategically located aseptic processing facility on the East Coast. "The completion of the expansion in Allentown means SunOpta now has aseptic processing facilities on the East and West Coasts, as well as the Midwest," said Rik Jacobs, President and CEO of SunOpta. "With the addition of aseptic processing in Allentown, we now offer customers one of the largest integrated non-dairy aseptic beverage processing platforms in North America which we believe will offer the lowest landed cost to customers."
The expansion of aseptic capabilities in Allentown is part of SunOpta's broader focus on growing its consumer packaged goods business. Last month, SunOpta completed its transformative acquisition of Sunrise Growers, a leading supplier of frozen fruit in North America, and integrated its acquisition of Niagara Natural, an innovative and fast-growing manufacturer of better-for-you fruit snacks. "The aseptic processing expansion in Allentown aligns well with our strategy to aggressively grow our integrated field-to-table consumer packaged goods business," said Jacobs. "The expansion of our Allentown facility enhances the value-added consumer packaged goods portfolio we offer customers in the healthy beverage, fruit and snack categories. Combined with our industry leading global ingredients business, and vertically integrated platform, we're pleased to provide customers with value-added products at every step of the supply chain."
SunOpta's vertically integrated aseptic beverage capabilities incorporate raw material sourcing through ingredient production and finished packaged products, providing for control of quality, organic certification, and traceability from the farm to finished packaged product. Current production capabilities include soymilk, rice beverage, almond beverage, coconut based beverages, other grain based beverages, nutritional beverages, teas, dairy products and broths among others.
The project in Allentown complements an expansion of aseptic processing and filling capabilities at SunOpta's Modesto, Calif., facility which was completed earlier this year. SunOpta also maintains a significant aseptic operation in Alexandria, Minn.
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified ("non-GMO") and specialty foods. The Company specializes in the sourcing, processing and packaging of organic and non-GMO food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategic vertically integrated business models. The Company's organic and non-GMO food operations revolve around value-added grain, seed, fruit and vegetable based product offerings, supported by a global sourcing and supply infrastructure. The Company also holds an approximate 66% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc. (OPM.TO), a producer, distributor, and recycler of industrial minerals and silica-free abrasives. Opta Minerals is a non-core holding.
Rob Litt, Director Global Communications