Profile: SunOpta Inc (STKL.O)
19 Sep 2014
SunOpta Inc. ( SunOpta), incorporated on January 1, 2008, is a global company operating businesses focused on a healthy products portfolio that promotes sustainable well-being. With expertise in field to table integration, it specializes in the sourcing, processing and packaging of natural, organic and specialty food products. The Company operates in two business segments: SunOpta Foods and Opta Minerals.
Its core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit-based product offerings, supported by a global sourcing and supply infrastructure. Its assets, operations and employees are principally located in North America and Europe. It has two non-core holdings: a 66.1% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc. and its subsidiaries (Opta Minerals), a producer, distributor and recycler of industrial materials; and an 18.7% ownership position in Mascoma Corporation (Mascoma), a biofuels company.
SunOpta Foods operates in the natural, organic and specialty foods product sectors and utilizes a number of integrated business models to bring cost-effective and products to market. It believes these markets will continue to grow as consumers focus on health and wellness. SunOpta Foods consists of four operating segments: Grains and Foods Group, Ingredients Group, Consumer Products Group and International Foods Group .It focuses on three key go-to-market segments: raw materials, value-added ingredients and consumer-packaged products.
The Grains and Foods Group specializes in marketing organic, identity preserved (IP), and non-GMO grains, ingredients, packaged goods and processing services with a core focus on soybean, sunflower and corn products. The Grains and Foods Group works to ensure that it provides its customers with organic, non-GMO and IP specialty grains and seeds by serving as a grower’s supplier of seed; purchaser of the grower’s specialty crops; and processor and packager of a wide range of grains-based ingredients and consumer-packaged products. It offers a variety of IP, non-GMO and organic seeds and whole grains including soy, corn and sunflower for food applications offering varieties with superior food , raw material sourcing and processing of soy based ingredients in liquid, spray-dried and roasted formats. It offers Grain-based ingredients which utilize non-GMO and organic soy, corn, sunflower and rice; specialty organic functional ingredients, including maltodextrins, tack blends, fiber products; flavor enhancing products, including snack coatings, cheese powders and flavor systems; an line of organic dairy ingredients; and organic soy and sunflower oils. It offers variety of packaged food products for retail and foodservice use and a full range of bulk grain-based animal feed and pet food products.
The Ingredients Group is focused primarily on fiber products and specialty fruit ingredients. It works closely with its customers to identify product formulation, cost and productivity opportunities aimed at transforming raw materials into value-added food ingredient solutions. It offers fibers and brans, including Canadian Harvest Oat Fiber, SunOpta Soy Fiber, SunOpta Rice Fiber, SunOpta Cellulose Fiber and SunOpta Pea Fiber brands of insoluble organic and conventional fiber products, Barley Balance soluble fiber, MultiFiber blends, value-added starch-based texturizers, and a number of custom processed ingredients. It offers SunOpta Specialty Starch products, including OptaGrade and OptaMist. OptaGrade is a natural, starch-based texturizing agent that is used commercially in a variety of dairy products including natural, imitation, and processed cheeses, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt. OptaMist is also a starch-based texturizing agent that improves the taste, texture and appearance of dairy products, yogurt, cheese products, and salad dressings.
The Consumer Products Group provides natural and organic consumer packaged food products to global food manufacturers, distributors and supermarket chains with a variety of branded and private label products. The Consumer Products Group’s products include Conventional and organic beverage processing and re-sealable pouch filling solutions in a variety of product categories, including shelf stable and refrigerated juices, frozen fruits and vegetables, specialty beverages, vitamin waters, electrolyte waters, energy drinks, soups, baby food, and healthy fruit and vegetable based snacks in flexible pouches. It offers nutritious healthy snacks including natural and organic fruit based snacks in bar, twist, rope and bite size shapes, with the ability to add a variety of ingredients including fiber, plus a range of baked and extruded nutrition bars using a wide variety of ingredients including grains, proteins and other ingredients.
The International Foods Group includes European and North American based operations that source and supply raw material ingredients and trade organic commodities. Its principal operations are located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Santa Cruz, California and comprise the global sourcing and supply operations of Tradin Organic, including a business in Dalian, China that supplies food grade organic soybeans, feed, organic sunflower kernels and other grains and distributes certain organic food products, as well as sourcing and processing operations in Ethiopia for organic and specialty coffees and organic and conventional sesame seeds. In addition, the International Foods Group is expanding its integrated processing capabilities with the construction of its value-added organic and specialty cocoa facility in the Netherlands.
SunOpta Foods is subject to a wide range of governmental regulations and policies in various countries and regions where it operates,including the
United States,Canada, the Netherlands, throughout the rest of the EU, China and Ethiopia. These laws, regulations and policies are implemented, as applicable in each jurisdiction, on the national, federal, state, provincial and local levels. For example, SunOpta Foods is affected by laws and regulations related to: seed, fertilizer and pesticides; the purchasing, harvesting, transportation and warehousing of grain and other products; the processing, packaging and sale of food, including wholesale operations; and product labelling and marketing, food safety and food defense. SunOpta Foods is also affected by government-sponsored price supports, acreage set aside programs and a number of environmental regulations.
Opta Minerals is a vertically integrated provider of custom process optimization solutions and supplier of industrial minerals and silica-free abrasives for use primarily in the steel, foundry, loose abrasive cleaning and municipal water filtration industries. Opta Minerals has offices and production and distribution facilities in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and production locations in Europe in Kosice, Slovakia; Romans, France; and Ermsleben and Rodermark, Germany. Opta Minerals integration of its business acquisitions into its existing operations and financial management systems has created synergies that have increased revenues and profit margins. It has invested in improving plant equipment and infrastructure and has been able to reduce costs while growing production capabilities. It believes that Opta Minerals is well-positioned to expand current operations with modest capital expenditures.
Opta Minerals produces, manufactures, distributes and recycles industrial minerals, silica-free abrasives and specialty sands and other products and services to the foundry, steel, loose abrasive cleaning, roofing granule, marine/bridge cleaning, waterjet cutting, and municipal, recreational and industrial water filtration industries. Its principal product lines include: blends of industrial minerals used primarily in heavy industrial applications; silica-free abrasives,and specialty sands, filtration media and other products and services.
Opta Minerals sells industrial mineral products primarily to the foundry and steel industries. Industrial minerals products produced by Opta Minerals include chromites, magnesium blends, lime, nozzle sands, clays, coated sands, petroleum coke, crushed graphite, pre-cast refractory shapes, injection lances, and a wide range of foundry pre-mixes.
Opta Minerals abrasive products are primarily sold into shipbuilding, ship repair, bridge cleaning, waterjet cutting and roofing granule markets. The abrasives produced are free of silica, making them a clean, efficient and recyclable alternative to traditional abrasives. Recycling operations are conducted at Waterdown, Ontario, Norfolk, Virginia and Ermsleben, Germany. This is an important service that Opta Minerals provides to its customers which results in the reuse of materials that would otherwise be sent directly to landfills. Silica-free abrasive products produced by Opta Minerals include BlackBlast, Ultra Blast, EconoBlast, EbonyGrit, Powerblast, Galaxy Garnet, Emerald Creek Garnet, Bengal Bay Garnet and other specialty abrasives.
Opta Minerals also generates revenues from the sale of specialty sands, filtration media and other products and technical services. The silica sands are not sold for use as an abrasive material.Speciality sands and other products and services of Opta Minerals include filtration and industrial sands, garnets for filtration and waterjet cutting, construction sands, golf bunker sand, silica (not sold for loose abrasive applications), colored sand, waterjet cutting replacement parts and components, and technical services.
The industrial minerals industry is characterized by a number of public and private companies that service the bulk of requirements for both the foundry and steel industry. The remaining market requirements are fulfilled by small regionally based companies with limited product lines that generally focus on local markets.
The silica-free abrasives industry is characterized by a number of regionally-based companies with limited product lines tending to focus on geographically adjacent markets. Their competition varies by product line, customer classification and geographic market. Opta Minerals conducts business throughout North America with a focus on key regions including the Quebec-Detroit corridor, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas, all of which are areas of high volume ship repairs and bridge cleaning activities.
The Company competes with Vesuvius Group S.A./N.V., Stollberg Group, SKW Mettalurgie Gmbh, Magnesium Elektron and Prince Minerals.
2838 Bovaird Drive West
BRAMPTON ON L7A 0H2