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    PACKAGING: SunOpta Upgrades, Expands Aseptic Packaging Operations

    The SunOpta Grains and Foods Group has completed an upgrade and retrofit at its Alexandria, Minn., aseptic processing and packaging facility, and has begun producing natural broth and soup products for a major international CPG company.

    The SunOpta Grains and Foods Group has completed an upgrade and retrofit at its Alexandria, Minn., aseptic processing and packaging facility, and has begun producing natural broth and soup products for a major international CPG company.

    The Alexandria facility has the capacity to produce the equivalent of about 170 million liters annually of alternative beverages such as soy, rice and almond, along with broth and soup products. The upgrade and retrofit expands packaging size capabilities for these products to include 500-milliliter and 1.5-liter packages, as well as existing 1-liter and 2-liter package formats. The additional configuration also enables packaging for the full array of aseptic pint, quart, one-and-a-half-quart and half-gallon sizes.

    Upon the completion of the upgrade and retrofit, SunOpta started production of aseptically processed and packaged natural broth products for a global consumer products company under a three-year packaging agreement. The products are being produced in both 16-ounce and 48-ounce formats for retail and foodservice distribution. Although a SunOpta spokeswoman declined to reveal the identity of the company, she noted that the items produced would be available in the United States.

    “Expansion of our value-added processing and packaging capabilities into natural and organic broths and soups has been a strategic objective designed to leverage our integrated sourcing, processing and packaging capabilities,” said Allan Routh, president of SunOpta Grains and Foods Group, a division of Brampton, Ontario-based SunOpta, Inc. Routh added that the company would continue “to leverage our capabilities into complementary natural and organic products categories.”

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