September 7, 2011

SunOpta Announces Strategic Review of Opta Minerals Inc.

TORONTO, Sept. 7, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) today announced that, following discussions with SunOpta, the Board of Directors of Opta Minerals Inc. ("Opta Minerals") (TSX:OPM) has commenced a process to identify and review strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. SunOpta owns 66.4% of Opta Minerals and approximately 64% on a fully-diluted basis. The Board of Directors of Opta Minerals has retained Canaccord Genuity Corp. to act as exclusive financial advisor in the strategic review process.

Jeremy Kendall, Chairman of SunOpta stated, "We are very supportive of the management team at Opta Minerals, which has delivered an excellent track record of increasing revenue and EBITDA over the past decade. However, as a result of a limited public float and thus very low trading volumes, Opta Minerals has limited access to the capital markets and we do not believe that the market properly reflects Opta Minerals' financial performance and future growth opportunities. Consequently, SunOpta supports the decision to complete the review of strategic alternatives with the goal of enhancing shareholder value."

Steve Bromley, President and CEO of SunOpta, added, "Among other possibilities, the strategic review process could result in a sale of Opta Minerals. This would be consistent with SunOpta's strategy to focus on our core natural and organic value-added foods business. In this regard we have divested three non-core assets including our Canadian Food Distribution assets, SunOpta BioProcess Inc. and certain California and Mexican based assets within our Fruit Group, all in an effort to streamline and simplify our business model.  At the same time we have continued to invest in, and grow our natural and organic foods business via a number of  internal growth projects and the acquisition of three businesses including Dahlgren's, a vertically integrated producer of confection sunflower products, Edner of Nevada, a producer of nutritious portable snack bars, and Lorton's Fresh Squeezed Juice, a vertically integrated producer of citrus based products ."

As stated in the press release by Opta Minerals, there is no defined timeline for the strategic alternatives review and there can be no assurance that the review of strategic alternatives will result in any specific action. SunOpta does not intend to comment further regarding the evaluation of strategic alternatives, unless a specific transaction or process is formally agreed to, or it otherwise deems further disclosure is appropriate or required.

About SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods and natural health products. The company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategically vertically integrated business models. The Company's core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure. The company has two non-core holdings, a 66.4% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc. (TSX:OPM), a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and a minority ownership position in Mascoma Corporation, an innovative biofuels company.

The SunOpta Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3958

About Opta Minerals

Opta Minerals Inc is a vertically integrated provider of custom process optimization solutions and related materials for use primarily in the steel, foundry, loose abrasive cleaning and municipal water filtration industries. The Company currently has production and distribution facilities in Ontario, Québec, Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Texas, Florida, Kosice Slovakia, and Romans-sur-Isère, France and one of the broadest product lines in the industry. 

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this press release may be considered "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, management's expectations regarding the review of strategic alternatives, enhancing shareholder value and the current valuation and trading volumes of Opta Minerals. Forward-looking statements are based on information available to us on the date of this release and are based on estimates and assumptions made by the Company in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments as well as other factors the Company believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Whether actual timing and results will be consistent with expectations and predications of the company is subject to many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the company's expectations and predictions, including whether or not any viable strategic alternatives will be identified, Opta Minerals' ability to execute on any strategic alternatives that may be identified and pursued, and market conditions at that time. 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.

         Steve Bromley, President & CEO

         Tony Tavares, Vice President & COO

         John Dietrich, Vice President, Corporate Development

         Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer

         Tel: 905-455-2528, ext 103

         susan.wiekenkamp@sunopta.com

         Website: www.sunopta.com


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