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Stake Reaches Agreement to Acquire Dakota Gourmet

October 30,2003
Stake Reaches Agreement to Acquire Dakota Gourmet

TORONTO--Oct. 30, 2003--Stake Technology Ltd. (To become "SunOpta Inc." effective October 31, 2003) (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Sonne Labs, Inc. (operated as "Dakota Gourmet") of Wahpeton, North Dakota.

Dakota Gourmet is a small, fast growing company focused on the manufacture of innovative natural and organic snack foods using soy, corn and sunflower ingredients. These products are sold under the Dakota Gourmet brand and are also produced for private label customers.

The company's operations capabilities include roasting, blending and packaging and its products are marketed to the United States school program, various manufacturers, retailers and distributors. Dakota Gourmet and Kettle Valley, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stake, will co-ordinate their future marketing and product development programs.

In the most recent twelve months, Dakota Gourmet had sales of approximately US $3.5 million and is a profitable company.

Jeremy Kendall, Chairman and CEO of Stake commented that, "The acquisition of Dakota Gourmet along with the previously announced acquisition of the business and operating assets of Sigco Sun Products further expands our healthy snack product offering and completes the vertical integration of the sunflower business from field to table."

Compensation in this transaction includes cash and contingent payments based on meeting future earnings objectives. Closing of this transaction is subject to finalization of definitive agreements and is targeted for October 31, 2003.

Stake Technology Ltd., to become SunOpta Inc. effective October 31, 2003, is an owner/operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food markets. For the last five consecutive years, Stake was included in Profit magazine's 'Profit 100' list of the 100 fastest growing companies in Canada. The company has three business units: the Food Group, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products; integrated from seed through packaged products; the Environmental Industrial Group; a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and the Steam Explosion Technology Group who engineer and market clean pulping systems using patented steam explosion technology. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector.

Websites: or

    CONTACT: Stake Technology Ltd.
             Jeremy N. Kendall, Steve Bromley, Susan Wiekenkamp
             Tel: 905-455-2528, ext 103
             Investor Relations Counsel
             The Equity Group Inc.
             Linda Latman, 212-836-9609

    SOURCE: Stake Technology Ltd.

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