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SunOpta To Acquire Oat Fiber Manufacturing Facility

March 24,2004
SunOpta To Acquire Oat Fiber Manufacturing Facility

TORONTO--March 24, 2004--SunOpta Inc. (the Company) (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, SunOpta Ingredients, Inc., (the Company) has entered into a letter of intent with General Mills, Inc., whereby the Company will purchase the General Mills Bakeries & Foodservice oat fiber processing facility located on Wenig Road in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The transaction is subject to completion of due diligence and certain definitive agreements. The parties are working to complete outstanding items and intend to close this transaction as soon as possible.

Jeremy N. Kendall, Chairman and CEO of SunOpta Inc., commented "We are pleased to purchase this asset as we continue to expand our oat fiber processing capabilities and address the demand for healthy product ingredient offerings."

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 attached consolidated balance sheet and consolidated statement of earnings has been summarized from the 2003 audited financial statements and includes unaudited information. 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

    SOURCE: SunOpta Inc.

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