SunOpta expands east coast soy presence

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Organic food, United states, Sunopta

Ingredient group SunOpta has expanded its soy manufacturing
facilities in New York, a move that the company says will improve
its supply and service to east coast customers.

The North American firm this week announced the acquisition of a soymilk manufacturing facility in Heuvelton, from ProSoya Corporation. The new facility will produce both organic and non-organic soy milk concentrate, although SunOpta said its focus will be on organic ingredients. "The addition of a soymilk manufacturing facility located in the north east of the United States expands our ability to serve our growing customer base in Eastern North America,"​ said Allan Routh, president of the SunOpta Grains and Foods Group in a statement yesterday. "This geographic expansion of soy manufacturing is another strategic step to ensure that we will maintain adequate supply capabilities, positioned to meet the increasing demands of our soy customers and enable continued growth of their businesses."​SunOpta said the acquisition includes all buildings, machinery and equipment, which were purchased with cash. The firm told FoodNavigator-USA.com that it plans to upgrade the plant's manufacturing capabilities within 3 to 4 months, a move expected to improve processing efficiencies and product quality. The price of the acquisition as well as the cost of upgrading the facility were not disclosed by the firm. According to the SunOpta's president and chief executive officer Steve Bromley, the addition of the new facility compliments SunOpta's strategy to be the leader in North America in the supply of organic soy based raw materials through integrated ingredients and finished packaged products. "We expect to continue to expand our soy processing capabilities in order to meet this objective,"​ he said. Other recent acquisitions by the firm include the purchase of two Mexican fruit processors earlier this year, Congeladora del Rio and Baja California Congelados (BCC). SunOpta in March also announced plans to expand relationships with firms in Argentina and Chile in order to provide its customers with a "high quality, reliable and growing source of keyorganicproducts",including fruit and vegetable products.​Bromley told FoodNavigator-USA.com that the new agreements will allow the firm to rise to the US food industry's growing demand for organic fruits. The company's Food Group - one of its three business units - focuses on the sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products.

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