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SunOpta Updates On the Expansion of Their Healthy Oils Operations and Agreement With Daabon Organic USA to Distribute Organic Palm Oil Products

October 23,2008

TORONTO, Oct 23, 2008 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- SunOpta Inc. (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) ("the Company") today provided an update on the expansion of their healthy oils platform and expansion of their product offering with the completion of an agreement to distribute organic palm oil products.

The Company announced that the SunOpta Grains and Foods Group has signed an agreement to distribute the Daabon Organic USA Inc. product line of organic shortenings, stearins and olein, produced under the FreshPress brand from organic palm oil. These products are sold primarily to the bakery industry for cookies, breads, muffins, pastries and others and are expected to add approximately $2.0 million in profitable revenues in 2009. Palm oil products are considered to be healthful, cost efficient and have an extended shelf life over certain vegetable oils. These products raise good "HDL" cholesterol, are not genetically modified and are high in anti-oxidants.

The Company also provided an update on its joint venture with Colorado Mills of Lamar, Colorado to develop a 35 million pound oilseed refinery focused on expeller-pressed, trans-fat free sunflower oil and soy oil products and reported that operations are on target for a spring 2009 start-up. The additional capacity from this operation is expected to generate annualized revenues of approximately US$10 million and further position the Company as a strong player in the fast growing organic vegetable oils sector.

Allan Routh, President of the SunOpta Grains and Foods Group, commented, "As we continually seek to expand the Companies healthy food solutions, the partnerships with both Daabon and Colorado Mills are key steps in this regard. The addition of palm fruit products which are kosher certified, certified organic and certified sustainable by ProForest is consistent with our objective to broaden our organic and natural vegetable oils business. These products further position the Company to respond to manufacturers needs in the snack, baking, sauces and dressing industries with a wide range of ingredients for organic and natural food-use applications."

John McCloskey, Commercial Director, Daabon Organic USA, Inc., commented, "The nature of our Organic Palm Oil business in the U.S. has changed and Daabon USA is at the point where we see a need to bring additional resources to the market. After a thorough investigation we concluded that the SunOpta Grains and Foods Group is the best choice for providing the additional service and support we see as necessary to develop the Daabon Organic Palm Oil business to the next level."

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 oil refining joint venture, supply and customer relationships, the FreshPress brand and the distribution agreement, all 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 oil refining joint venture, supply and customer relationships, the FreshPress brand and the distribution agreement, all 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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