SunOpta moves increase organic sourcing power

by Jeff Gelski
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TORONTO — SunOpta Global Organic Ingredients (SGOI) has entered into a series of agreements to expand its global organic supply capabilities, primarily in Central America, SunOpta Inc., Brampton, Ont., said Aug. 26.

SGOI, a division of the SunOpta Fruit Group, has acquired a number of existing supplier and customer relationships and the rights to the Pure Nature Organics frozen fruit and vegetable registered trademark. SGOI also has entered into an ongoing brokerage and consulting services agreement.

Entering into arrangements with a number of organic suppliers and processors, primarily in Central America, will allow for the development of organic supply of such produce items as broccoli, green beans, edamame and asparagus. SGOI also has assumed a number of existing customer contracts and relationships in North America for supply of organic private label and branded frozen vegetable products.

SGOI estimates the new business will generate incremental revenues of about $5 million to $7 million in the first year. Revenues should continue to grow in the following years as products are developed further and incremental supply becomes available, according to SGOI.

"These agreements allow SGOI to act upon a key strategic initiative by not only diversifying its supply source for organic IQF (individually quick frozen) vegetables and fruits, but also allowing the group to get much closer to the farm gate in a rapidly developing and reputable region for the procurement of commodities which are in global short supply," said Joseph Stern, president of SGOI.

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