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SunOpta Announces Sale of Hamilton Plant

January 19,2004
SunOpta Announces Sale of Hamilton Plant

TORONTO--Jan. 19, 2004--SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta) (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) announced today that Opta Minerals (formerly the Environmental Industrial Group) has completed the sale of the land and buildings located at the Group's manufacturing and processing facility located in Hamilton, Ontario. The sales price was Cdn. $1,325,000 and the transaction closed on January 16, 2004.

Production from the Hamilton facility has been transferred to the Group's facilities located in Waterdown, Ontario. A number of employees have been relocated from Hamilton to Waterdown. Equipment from the Hamilton operations has been transferred to other facilities across the Group.

This transaction is immediately cash positive and will generate annualized pre-tax earnings of approximately Cdn. $375,000. As a result of the costs related to the removal and transfer of equipment, severance and related costs associated with implementing this rationalization, the company incurred a net one-time pre-tax cost of approximately Cdn. $275,000 in fiscal 2003 and will incur one time pre-tax costs of approximately Cdn. $135,000 in 2004 which will be offset by earnings as noted above.

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 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.


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
             Steve Bromley
             Susan Wiekenkamp
             905-455-2528, ext 103

    SOURCE: SunOpta Inc.

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