SunOpta: Plans to Construct a New Soymilk Processing and Packaging Facility

SunOpta Inc., today announced that it intends to construct a production facility in Modesto, California to produce and package organic aseptic soymilk and other aseptic beverages. Demand for organic soymilk and other beverages from SunOpta's vertically integrated aseptic packaging operations continues to grow via existing customers, combined with identified and contracted new business opportunities. With this new plant the Company continues to execute on its strategy of expanding its processing and packaging capabilities in strategic geographic areas in order the meet needs of a growing international customer base. The new facility is expected to be operational in May 2009, significantly expanding the Company's processing and packaging capacities.

Allan Routh, President of the SunOpta Grains and Foods Group commented, "The expansion of our soymilk portfolio, especially into the foodservice market, requires us to expand our production capabilities to meet customer demands and accommodate continued 20% annual growth in our core organic soymilk and alternate beverages portfolios. Strategically this additional facility will enable SunOpta to geographically leverage our vertically integrated soymilk model and provide our customers with a cost effective and quality product, while at the same time driving social, economic and environmental sustainability via geographic production in close proximity to consumers and reduced packaging waste and distribution costs. The new Modesto facility, when combined with the aseptic packaging facility in Alexandria, Minnesota will bring total production capacity to approximately 250 to 300 million quarts of soymilk and other beverages per year once the new facility is fully operational."

SunOpta's vertically integrated soymilk model is unique and 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 initially sourced and processed at SunOpta's facilities in Hope, Minnesota and Moorhead, Minnesota and are also processed at other third party locations. The processed soy beans are then delivered to SunOpta's ingredient plants in Alexandria, Minnesota, Heuvelton, New York and Afton, Wyoming where they are converted into liquid concentrated soy base and other soy based food ingredients. The concentrated soy base is then transported to SunOpta's aseptic packaging facility and third party co-pack partners for blending, packaging and subsequent delivery to our customers. The new facility will further enhance these capabilities via the expansion of operations to the Southwest of the United States.

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 bio-fuel, pulp 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

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.


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
[email protected]
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