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SunOpta Announces Consolidation of St. Thomas, Ontario Fiber Manufacturing Operation

February 10,2004
SunOpta Announces Consolidation of St. Thomas, Ontario Fiber Manufacturing Operation

TORONTO--Feb. 10, 2004--SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta) (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) announced today the consolidation of its SunOpta Ingredients - St. Thomas, Ontario manufacturing facility into the company's Cambridge, Minnesota operations. The relocation of the Canadian Harvest(R) Stabilized Brans and Wheat Germ production to Cambridge will yield several benefits including enhanced manufacturing efficiencies, reduced operating costs, and closer proximity to the majority of its customers as well as raw material suppliers. The move will also position the company for continued sales growth of its stabilized oat, wheat and corn bran products due to the increasing popularity of the Atkins and other low carbohydrate diets as well as other high fiber foods. The transfer of the processing and ancillary equipment will begin in the first quarter of 2004 and is anticipated to be complete no later than July 1, 2004. Approximately twenty personnel will be impacted by this rationalization.

As a result of costs related to the removal and transfer of equipment, severance and related costs associated with implementing this rationalization, the company will incur a one-time pre-tax costs of approximately USD $510,000 followed by annualized pre-tax profit improvement of USD $600,000 commencing in the second half of 2004.

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 Technology 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.

Websites: www.sunopta.com www.sunrich.com www.bei.ca www.steamexplosion.com www.sunrichvalley.com www.organickitchen.ca www.wildwestorganicharvest.com www.kettlevalley.net www.opta-food.com www.proorganics.com www.sigcosun.com www.dakotagourmet.com

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.

    CONTACT: SunOpta Inc.
             Jeremy N. Kendall or Steve Bromley or Susan Wiekenkamp
             Tel: 905-455-2528, ext 103
             info@sunopta.com

    SOURCE: SunOpta Inc.

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