June 29, 2015

SunOpta Highlights Progress Towards Sustainability Goals in 2014 Corporate Sustainability Report

TORONTO, June 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified and specialty foods, released its fifth Corporate Sustainability Report today. The report outlines SunOpta's ongoing efforts to integrate sustainability into its overall business strategy to enable it to accelerate social, environmental and economic performance throughout the company.

"At SunOpta all of our sustainability initiatives are driven by one simple yet powerful purpose: bringing well-being to life," said SunOpta Chief Executive Officer Steve Bromley. "Our commitment to sustainability is highlighted in our 2014 Corporate Sustainability Report, which details progress towards achieving the world-class goals we have set in these areas."

SunOpta's sustainability approach is built on efforts in five platforms: marketplace, workplace, community, partnerships, and environment. In each of those platforms SunOpta has developed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to gauge progress. Highlights from this year's report include:

Growing a Sustainable Supply Chain

  • 100% of SunOpta's current North American corrugate, copier paper and multi-walled bag suppliers are third-party certified participants in internationally recognized sustainability programs
  • Since 2009, SunOpta has purchased approximately 18,900 tons of Certified Fair Trade Products providing over $3.2 million in premiums to farmers involved in Fair Trade programs

Giving Back to the Community

  • 100% of SunOpta facilities are involved in efforts to support local charities that benefit our communities.
  • Over the past six years, SunOpta has donated over 1.3 million pounds of healthy food to hunger relief organizations

Becoming a Restorative Organization

  • Reduced CO2e intensity by 6% in our dry goods manufacturing operations
  • For the past five years, SunOpta has worked with its logistics partner, C.H. Robinson, to maintain an ongoing carbon offset tree planting program. Since 2010, nearly 19,000 trees have been planted, the equivalent of taking 6,010 passenger cars off the road

SunOpta has assigned ownership of each KPI and built this ownership into performance management systems, an approach which embeds sustainability into everyday decision-making across the organization. Going forward, SunOpta will continue to follow this strategic framework and execute on core strategies to drive social, environmental and economic performance throughout the organization.

"At SunOpta, sustainability is central to who we are and how we operate," said Bill Van Heeswyk, Vice President Sustainability. "We are committed to continuously improving our social, environmental and economic performance to positively impact our people, partners, communities, planet and marketplace."

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. (TSX:OPM), a producer, distributor, and recycler of industrial minerals and silica-free abrasives. Opta Minerals is a non-core holding.

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CONTACT: For further information, please contact:



         SunOpta Inc.

         Public Relations

         Rob Litt, Director Global Communications

         Tel: 952-893-7863

         Rob.litt@sunopta.com