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SunOpta Provides Update On New Global Organic Sourcing and Supply Initiatives

October 14,2008

TORONTO, Oct 14, 2008 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- SunOpta ("the Company" or "the Company's") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) today provided an update on initiatives undertaken by the Company's international sourcing and trading operations, specifically The Organic Corporation, operating as Tradin Organics. These initiatives expand SunOpta's organic sourcing and supply capabilities in Ethiopia.

Recently Tradin Organics finalized a joint venture agreement, through the Dutch government's Emerging Markets Cooperation Programme (PSOM), with an Ethiopian based partner and created Selet Hulling to source and produce organic sesame seeds for international distribution. Tradin Organics has a 35% ownership position in this venture and also has the exclusive rights for international distribution of the finished product. The mandate of the Selet Hulling joint venture is to set up a top quality HACCP operated organic certified sesame seed hulling operation and export the output to world markets via the Company's sales and logistics personnel. The project is expected to have a very positive impact on local development in Ethiopia, resulting in higher incomes for farmers, the creation of additional employment in the area, the introduction of the new dry hulling technology and the sharing of best practices and knowledge on sustainable organic agriculture. It is estimated that the joint venture will generate incremental profitable annualized revenues of approximately $4 million to $6 million commencing in 2009.

In addition, Trabocca BV ("Trabocca"), a subsidiary of Tradin Organics, has entered into an agreement to assume control of the organic coffee sourcing and processing assets from Alanheri Produkten BV ("Alanheri"), expanding its existing organic coffee platform. As per the terms of the agreement with Alanheri, Trabocca has assumed a number of existing supplier and customer relationships, as well as the organic certifications. It is estimated that these assets will further position Trabocca as a supplier of choice for certified organic Ethiopian origin coffee and will allow the Company to continue to expand its customer base. It is estimated that this expansion will generate incremental profitable annualized revenues of approximately $5 million to $7 million.

Both the Selet Hulling joint venture and the combination of the Alanheri coffee business with Trabocca will provide expanded Ethiopian based supply to the Company; thereby extending the Company's presence in this area of the world.

Gerard Versteegh, Director of The Organic Corporation commented, "We were particularly excited to undertake these two initiatives, not only do they provide good returns to the Company, but they demonstrate our Company's commitment to social responsibility and the environment."

Menno Simons, Managing Director of Trabocca commented, "Our agreement with Alanheri allows Trabocca to diversify its supply source in a key coffee growing region in the world. The employees at Trabocca are dedicated to working with our customers and suppliers in order to deliver high quality products. We welcome and look forward to working with our new customers and suppliers."

Steve Bromley, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta Inc. commented, "These initiatives further expand our Company's organic sourcing and supply capabilities, one of the keys to our continued strategic growth plans. Beyond expanding supply, these initiatives also allow us to bring employment and sustainable agricultural practices to a part of the world that is in need of such support."

About SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food and natural health 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; Opta Minerals Inc. (TSX:OPM) (66.6% owned by SunOpta), a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and SunOpta BioProcess Inc. which engineers and markets proprietary steam explosion technology systems for the bio-fuel, pulp and food processing industries. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector.

The SunOpta Inc. logo is available at

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 the expected results related to the above referred sesame seed and coffee supply and customer relationships identified in this release, as well as other references to the future growth and strategies 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 without limitation the expected results related to the supply and customer relationships identified above, results of which may be 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.

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire,

SOURCE: SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc.
          Jeremy N. Kendall, Chairman
          Steve Bromley, President & CEO
          John Dietrich, Vice President & CFO
          Tony Tavares, Chief Operating Officer
          Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer
            905-455-2528, ext 103

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