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SunOpta enters South African soy alliance

02-Dec-2009

Canadian natural and organics group SunOpta has entered into a strategic alliance with Specialized Protein Products of South Africa, to increase its profitability and access to soy ingredient markets.

The alliance includes exclusive manufacturing and distribution rights for natural and organic soy-based ingredients and packaged products, including liquid and powdered soymilks. SPP’s facility is based in Potchefstroom, South Africa, and has production capacity of 200,000 liters of concentrated soymilk per day, as well as 20 metric tonnes of soymilk powder per day.

Apart from creating better access to African markets, SunOpta said that the location takes advantage of lower production costs in the region, allowing it to better compete on global markets.

President of the SunOpta Grains & Foods Group Allan Routh, and director of international business development in the SunOpta Grains & Foods Group Peter Golbitz, said in a joint statement: "We believe this relationship will add value to the food and agricultural processing industry in South Africa and serve to improve quality and nutritional attributes of food products in the region.

“In hand with this, the first-class infrastructure, lower production costs and enhanced reach that South Africa gives us for exports should help make these products competitive internationally and allow us to continue to grow our global foods business."

SunOpta said it has already started selling products from the South African undertaking, and that it expects sales from the project to grow to $15m “over time.”

The company added that it is working with SPP at the facility to reduce water usage and save in production costs, and that it also intends to work with South African soy farmers in order to improve soybean quality.

President and CEO of SunOpta Steve Bromley said: "This venture continues to expand our global footprint focused on value added natural and organic food ingredients.”

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