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SunOpta Inc. Announces Aseptic Plant Expansion

January 12,2005
SunOpta Inc. Announces Aseptic Plant Expansion

TORONTO--Jan. 12, 2005--SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta) (NASDAQ:STKL)(TSX:SOY). Jeremy N. Kendall, Chairman and CEO, today announced the opening of its new 45,000 square foot office and warehouse adjoining the SunOpta aseptic plant in Alexandria, Minnesota.

This new facility consolidates warehousing previously located at five regional facilities into a single warehouse directly attached to the aseptic manufacturing facility, thus eliminating costly freight transfers, extra handling and third party lease costs. The addition of automated palletizing equipment as part of this expansion will also serve to improve efficiencies at this facility.

As part of this investment, SunOpta has also consolidated office space for its Alexandria processing operations at this facility and has sold a previously owned office building in Alexandria.

During the past year, SunOpta has added additional aseptic processing and packaging capacity in addition to the warehouse and palletizing expansion, all focused on efficiently serving customer requirements. As a result, SunOpta's aseptic packaged soymilk, rice milk, teas and other beverages business is expected to grow in 2005.

SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food markets. For the last six 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.

    CONTACT: SunOpta Inc.
             Jeremy N. Kendall, Steve Bromley, John Dietrich,
             or Susan Wiekenkamp, 905-455-2528, ext 103

    SOURCE: SunOpta Inc.

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