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SunOpta Announces Appointment of M. Shan Atkins to the Board of Directors

October 28,2014

TORONTO, Oct. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods, today announced the appointment of M. Shan Atkins to its Board of Directors.

Ms. Atkins joins as an independent director and brings more than three decades of broad business experience to SunOpta, including development and execution of strategic plans for major retail organizations, deep expertise in finance and accounting, and extensive experience as a director of other publicly traded corporations in both the United States and Canada. Her appointment increases the total number of Company directors to eleven, including nine independent directors.

Alan Murray, Chair of the Board of SunOpta Inc. commented, "We are delighted to have Shan Atkins join our Board, bringing her extensive business and strategic development and broad public company experience to SunOpta. This appointment is consistent with our ongoing efforts to enhance our Board of Directors with qualified, independent candidates who can bring a wealth of related experience to our business."  

Ms. Atkins has been a Managing Director of Chetrum Capital LLC, a private investment firm, since 2001.  From 1996 to 2001, Ms. Atkins held various positions with Sears Roebuck & Co., a major retailer, being promoted to Executive Vice President in 1999.  Prior to joining Sears, Ms. Atkins spent 14 years with Bain & Company, Inc., an international management consulting firm, as a leader in Bain's consumer and retail practice. Ms. Atkins began her career as a public accountant at what is now PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a major accounting firm, and has designations as a C.P.A., C.A. (Ontario) and C.P.A. (Illinois).  Ms. Atkins holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University.

Ms. Atkins currently serves on the Boards of Spartan Nash Company (Nasdaq:SPTN), a national grocery wholesaler and retailer in the Unites States, Tim Horton's, Inc. (TSX:THI) (NYSE:THI), a leading Canadian quick-serve restaurant operator, The Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack, (NYSE:PBY), a regional auto parts/service provider operating in 36 states and Puerto Rico, and Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI), an owner and operator of more than 1,500 restaurants in North America.  Ms. Atkins also serves as a director of a number of other private and not-for profit organizations.

About SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods products. The Company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategically vertically integrated business models. The Company's core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure. The Company has two non-core holdings, a 66.0% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc., listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and a minority ownership position in Mascoma Corporation, an innovative biofuels company.

The SunOpta Inc. logo is available at

CONTACT: SunOpta Inc.


         Investor Relations

         Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer

         Tel:  905-455-2528, ext.103


         Public Relations

         Rob Litt, Director Global Communications

         Tel:  952-893-7863

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