SunOpta said it expects the demand for natural and organic fruits and vegetables to continue to grow significantly as consumers seek healthierfood options.
Cleugh makes products for the retail private label, food service and industrial markets. Cleugh's operates two processing facilities in Buena Park and Salinas, California, with combined production,packaging and warehousing space of about 60,000 sq. ft.
The facilities are located in two of California's largest strawberry growing regions, which represents Cleugh's primary product. The acquisition strengthens SunOpta's vertically integratedfruit based operations, the company said in a press release.
"The operations have extensive capabilities including individually quick frozen processing, blending and puree production, and offer a wide range of packaging formats to their customers,including poly bags, gable top cartons, specialty retail packaging, tubs, pails and other food service packaging formats," SunOpta said in a press release. "Organic product offeringsrepresent the fastest growing segment of this business."
Cleugh's is was a family owned business with annual revenues of US$50m (€41.2m).
"SunOpta's strategic sourcing arrangements from around the world enable the company to be a leader in the supply of fruits and vegetable based products to the organic foods industry,"stated Joseph Stern, the president of Organic Ingredients, a wholly-owned SunOpta subsidiary. "The acquisition of Cleugh's further strengthens our sourcing and processing capabilities, and inturn our ability to service our customers by ensuring the highest quality and supply."
SunOpta focuses on the natural, organic and kosher food markets. The company has three business units located in Canada and the US. The SunOpta Food specialises in sourcing, processing anddistribution of natural and organic food products from seed through packaged products.
Opta Minerals is a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials. StakeTech Steam Explosion engineers and markets proprietary steam explosion technologysystems for the pulp, bio-fuel and food processing industries.
SunOpta was founded in 1973 and had revenues of $300m (€200m) in 2004, with a focus on natural, organic and specialty foods and great potential for continued growth.