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SunOpta Announces Production Capacity Expansions

September 13,2006
SunOpta Announces Production Capacity Expansions

TORONTO--Sept. 13, 2006--SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta or the Company) (Nasdaq:STKL)(TSX:SOY). SunOpta today provided an update on a number of expansion projects within the Company's SunOpta Food Group operations.

In order to meet increased demand for healthy roasted snacks and ingredients, the Company has completed an expansion of its roasting and packaging facility, Dakota Gourmet, located in Wahpeton, North Dakota. Dakota Gourmet had reached full capacity at the end of 2005 in this facility where the Company processes, roasts and packages organic and natural food snacks from corn, soy and sunflower. The expanded facility will add approximately 50% further capacity and allow for continued growth in a market which is growing at 30% per year.

In order to meet continued demand for the Company's oat and soy fiber products, the Company has commenced expansion of capacity by an average of 20% at its fiber plants located in Louisville, Kentucky, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Cambridge, Minnesota. Demand for oat and soy fibers continues to grow as many food products add fiber for fortification purposes, aimed at improving the nutritional content of foods in today's market place. These expansions will be implemented over the next six months.

SunOpta also announced that it has signed a lease for a new 95,000 square foot organic grocery distribution center in Richmond, British Columbia required to accommodate strong growth in the Western Canadian market in organic and natural food products. This new facility will feature 30 foot ceilings to increase efficiency and utilize state-of-the-art warehousing systems and innovative technologies and should be ready for occupancy in August 2007. These facilities will result in the consolidation of two locations currently leased by the SunOpta Canadian Food Distribution Group in the Vancouver area.

As a result of increasing demand for the Company's natural and organic dried fruit bars, an expansion of drying and processing capabilities at the Fruit Group's facility located in Omak, Washington, has commenced. This expansion will increase throughput by 70% and will be completed by December 2006.

Steve Bromley, President and Chief Operating Officer commented "We continue to strategically expand our operating capabilities in response to demand for our healthy product offerings. This is a most exciting time for SunOpta as healthy eating trends converge to create significant opportunities for the Company."

About SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food markets. 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 SunOpta BioProcess Group which engineers and markets proprietary steam explosion technology systems for the pulp, bio-fuel and food processing industries. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to references to business strategies, competitive strengths, goals, capital expenditure plans, business and operational growth plans and references to the future growth of the business. These forward looking statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by the Company in light of its experience and its interpretation of current conditions, historical trends and expected future developments as well as other factors that the Company believes are appropriate in the circumstance. However, whether actual results and developments will agree with expectations and predications of the Company is subject to many risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to; general economic, business or market risk conditions; competitive actions by other companies; changes in laws or regulations or policies of local governments, provinces and states as well as the governments of United States and Canada, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Consequently all forward-looking statements made herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by the Company will be realized.

    CONTACT: SunOpta Inc.
             Jeremy N. Kendall, Steve Bromley, John Dietrich, or
             Susan Wiekenkamp, 905-455-2528, ext 103
             Investment Community Inquiries:
             Lytham Partners, LLC
             Joe Diaz, Robert Blum, or Joe Dorame, 602-889-9700

    SOURCE: SunOpta Inc.

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