SunOpta Increases Processing Capabilities for Value-Added Organic and Specialty Cocoa Products

SunOpta Increases Processing Capabilities for Value-Added Organic and
Specialty Cocoa Products

TORONTO, March 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SunOpta Inc. ("SunOpta" or the
"Company") (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) today announced that the SunOpta
International Foods Group is expanding its integrated processing capabilities
with a new value-added organic and specialty cocoa facility located in
Middenmeer, The Netherlands, approximately one hour from Amsterdam. To be
operated as the Crown of Holland, the facility will process internationally
sourced cocoa beans into cocoa liquor, butter and powder, and will provide
needed capacity to accommodate the Company's growing organic and specialty
cocoa business that is currently processed by third parties.

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Crown of Holland

The facility is being built using the latest in environmentally friendly
building materials and technologies and will process organic and specialty
cocoa products. When commissioned, it is expected that the facility will have
an annual processing capacity of approximately 9,000 MT of raw cocoa. Testing
and commissioning of the new facility is expected to begin in the second half
of 2013, with the planned transfer of the Company's existing cocoa volume by
July 2013. With its own processing capabilities in place, the Company plans on
expanding its organic and specialty cocoa business and serving the specialty
chocolate industry with certified and specialty cocoa products.

Gerard Versteegh, President of the International Foods Group commented;
"Vertically integrating into our own dedicated cocoa facility will allow us to
have increased control over our business and expand our margins, especially as
we increase throughput. Organic and specialty cocoa products remain a key
category for the International Foods Group, and we anticipate above average
growth prospects in this segment of the market."

Steve Bromley, Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta Inc. commented; "This
expansion along with the previously announced acquisition of OLC is consistent
with our strategy of becoming a pure play natural and organic foods company,
aggressively growing our value-added ingredients and packaged foods portfolio,
and leveraging our integrated platform. This dedicated organic and specialty
cocoa facility adds to our value-added processing capabilities in our
International Foods Group and increases our capacity to service this fast
growing market segment."

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 66.1%
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

The Crown of Holland logo is available at

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this press release may be considered
"forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities
legislation, which are based on information available to us on the date of
this release. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited
to, our expansion plans for a new facility, theexpected processing capacity
of the new facility and the anticipated timing for testing and commissioning
of the facility and the transfer of our existing cocoa volume and the effect
on our margins. The terms and phrases "will", "expected", "plans", "expand",
"fast growing" and other similar terms and phrases are intended to identify
these forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are based on
information available to us on the date of this release and are based on
estimates and assumptions made by the Company in light of its experience and
its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future
developments as well as other factors the Company believes are appropriate in
the circumstances including that all third party and regulatory approvals and
other conditions for construction of the new facility will be obtained, that
there are no material unanticipated variations in budgeted costs and that
there is no material change in the supply of cocoa beans or the demand for
cocoa products. The Company makes no representation that reasonable business
people in possession of the same information would reach the same conclusions.
Whether actual timing and results will agree with expectations and
predications of the Company is subject to many risks and uncertainties
including, potential construction, labour or other delays in commissioning the
new facility, cost overruns in our capital expansion activities, ability to
increase margins, constraints on supply of cocoa beans, declines in the
expected growth of the cocoa product category and the ability to remain
competitive and continue to sell our products as well as other risks described
from time to time under "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form
10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q (available at
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.
         Susan Wiekenkamp, Information Officer
         Tel: 905-455-2528, ext. 103

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