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SunOpta Outlines Details for Added Expansion of Aseptic Processing, Packaging Capabilities

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SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on natural and organic foods, today announced further expansion to its aseptic processing and packaging operations in Modesto, California. In order to continue to meet committed customer demand and enable new growth opportunities, the Company will add a third processor at the Modesto facility. The installation is expected to be commissioned during the third quarter of 2014 and will increase processing capacity at the facility by approximately 33%, while also improving operating flexibility and efficiencies. The Company also expects to add additional aseptic filling lines at the Modesto plant over the course of 2014 in order to meet increased product demand from new and existing customers across a broad array of categories including non-dairy, nutritional beverages and dairy.

The Modesto, California aseptic processing and packaging operation was initially commissioned in 2010, and since that time has undergone a number of expansions to meet continued growing demand for low acid non-dairy products including soymilk, almond beverage and coconut milk, and other low acid products such as aseptic dairy and tea based beverages. The operation is paired with the Company's aseptic processing and packaging operation in Alexandria, Minnesota to strategically provide reliable and cost effective production from multiple operating facilities.     

Steve Bromley, Chief Executive Officer, SunOpta Inc. commented, "We are excited about our latest growth initiatives in our value-added aseptic processing and packaging capabilities in Modesto. This expansion is an important step in enabling us to meet growing customer demand and will support new product innovation. Together with our Alexandria plant, we believe we are now the largest carton based low acid aseptic manufacturer in the United States, which offers key processing scale and geographic advantages to our customers. The continued investment in our aseptic platform is directly aligned with our core strategies to aggressively grow our value-added ingredients and packaged foods portfolio, and to leverage our integrated platform to become a pure play natural and organic foods company."

SunOpta's vertically integrated aseptic beverage capabilities are unique and utilize operations incorporating raw material sourcing through ingredient production and finished packaged products, ensuring control of quality and organic certification, as well as providing traceability from the farm to the retail shelf. Current production capabilities include soymilk, rice beverage, almond beverage, hemp milk, sunflower milk, ancient grain beverages, coconut based beverages, nutritional beverages, teas, dairy products and broths among others.  

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