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Pipeline Foods to purchase SunOpta

Pipeline Foods, the first U.S.-based supply chain solutions company focused exclusively on organic, non-GMO and regenerative food and feed, announced it is acquiring the specialty and organic corn and soy business from SunOpta, Inc.

The acquisition complements Pipeline Foods’ existing footprint in the Canadian Prairies, N.D., southwest Iowa, Missouri and Argentina by adding facilities in Minnesota and northeast Iowa, bringing the total operational footprint to 12 facilities. This includes eight grain elevators, one dry corn mill, one expeller pressed crush plant and two grain processing/packaging facilities.

“We laid out an ambitious goal when we entered the market in 2017 to dramatically increase the amount of organic and non-GMO grain grown in the United States,” said Eric Jackson, chief executive of Pipeline Foods. “This is a critical next step in our company’s growth. It will add new capabilities and products to the existing Pipeline Foods portfolio – a benefit to both our farmers and food company customers.”

The SunOpta business brings more than 40 years of experience and history in the industry to the Pipeline Foods team. With the intent to hire all of SunOpta’s employees dedicated to the specialty grains business, Pipeline Foods will more than double in work force and plans to extend all services, including grain merchandising and the company’s Farm Profit and Ag Impact programs, to its entire grower and customer base.

“We are merging the innovation and investment power of Pipeline Foods with the tenure and respect of SunOpta, integrating the best parts of each organization to build a world-class business that can deliver value to our farmer-partners as well as our customers,” said Jackson. “We believe the respective organizations’ products, geographies, customers and farmer networks are very complementary to each other. Our focused passion for organic, sustainable and regenerative agriculture will only continue to grow. We foresee great things to come.”

The acquisition includes five facilities in Hope, Minn.; Blooming Prairie, Minn.; Ellendale, Minn.; Moorhead, Minn.,; and Cresco, Iowa. Pipeline Foods will now be able to offer food-grade organic and non-GMO corn and soy whole and milled ingredients, as well as complementary feed ingredients, in addition to its current portfolio of food-grade organic small and ancient whole grains, ingredients, and feed ingredients.

SunOpta was profiled in the March-April 2018 issue of Soybean Business.

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