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Opta Minerals Business Update

April 29,2004
Opta Minerals Business Update

TORONTO--April 29, 2004--SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta) (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) today issued an update on the business activities of Opta Minerals, the Company's operating group focused on the processing, distribution and recycling of environmentally friendly industrial minerals.

Opta Minerals successfully completed the previously announced sale and subsequent rationalization of its Hamilton, Ontario specialty minerals facility. All designated equipment and applicable personnel have been relocated to other operating centers within the organization. This rationalization is expected to generate annualized savings of Cdn. $375,000 commencing in the second quarter of 2004.

Opta Minerals has also finalized build-out plans for completion of its Baltimore, Maryland specialty abrasives processing facility and expects to have this operation fully commissioned during the third quarter of 2004. Build-out of this facility had been delayed pending resolution of a number of business and regulatory issues which have now been cleared. In addition, the Group further expanded its geographic positioning with the expansion of abrasive processing capabilities to Hardeeville, South Carolina. The addition of these capabilities strengthens the Group's abilities in servicing the North American shipbuilding and bridge cleaning industries.

The Group has further expanded its marketing expertise with the acquisition of Distribution A&L, a Quebec-based distributor of specialty abrasives and related products. This company focuses on smaller markets not currently serviced by the Group via its network of selling professionals specializing in the industrial, automotive repair and pool filtration industries. The skills contained within this operation are key as the group continues to strategically expand products and sales capabilities.

Opta Minerals anticipates incremental sales from these investments of approximately U.S. $2.5 million annually.

Jeremy Kendall, Chairman & CEO commented, "We are very pleased to be experiencing strong internal growth within Opta Minerals, which will be augmented by these investments. Operating management remain focused on continually improving customer service and bringing new products and services to the market in a cost effective manner."

SunOpta Inc. 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, SunOpta was included in Profit magazine's 'Profit 100' list of the 100 fastest growing companies in Canada. 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; the Opta Minerals Group, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and the StakeTech Steam Explosion Group that engineers and markets 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.

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking information. Actual future results may differ materially. The risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could influence actual results are described in the Company's annual report to shareholders and in SEC filings. The information provided here should be considered in conjunction with the other information included within the audited financial statements.

    CONTACT: SunOpta Inc.
             Jeremy N. Kendall, Steve Bromley, Susan Wiekenkamp,
             905-455-2528, ext 103
             email: swiekenkamp@sunopta.com
             website: www.sunopta.com

    SOURCE: SunOpta Inc.

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