Minneapolis / MN. (so) SunOpta Inc., a leading healthy food and beverage company focused on plant-based foods and beverages and fruit-based foods and beverages, announced an additional investment in its Plant-Based Foods and Beverages segment. The investment will further expand the capacity of its Allentown, Pennsylvania plant. In addition, the Company announced the exit, effective February 01, 2021, from its Santa Maria, California frozen fruit processing plant. These initiatives are part of a multi-year supply chain optimization strategy to support our growth plans.
«I’m pleased to announce the further expansion of our Plant-Based Foods and Beverages production capacity. This project, in our Allentown, Pennsylvania plant, follows the completion of three large projects in the fourth quarter of 2020 to accelerate the growth of our plant-based business. We expect this new capacity to come online in the fourth quarter of 2021. We remain pleased with our sales pipeline efforts to deliver USD 100 million of revenue growth by the end of 2022 from the three 2020 projects. This additional capacity will ensure that we are well positioned to support our customers’ growth in 2022 and beyond,» said Joe Ennen, Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta.
«We are closing our frozen fruit processing plant located in Santa Maria, California effective February 01, 2021. This closure will reduce the cost basis in our frozen fruit business, while leaving ongoing relationships with growers intact and ensuring adequate capacity to service demand for years to come. The highly successful automation and productivity efforts made over the last two seasons have created the ability for us to operate the same size business, with fewer assets. Lowering our cost structure will improve gross profit, which we expect will make us more competitive as we seek to add new business. Finally, given the plant closure, we are using this as a catalyst to evaluate marginally profitable or unprofitable customers and SKU’s, which may lead to some customer and SKU rationalization,» said Ennen.