TORONTO, July 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Board of Directors of SunOpta Inc. (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on natural and organic foods, announced that effective today, Alan Murray has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors. Murray replaces Jeremy Kendall who has retired after serving as Chairman of the Board for the past 31 years. Kendall will remain active on the Board as a Director and Past Chairman. Kendall also served as Chief Executive Officer until February 2007, and under his leadership the Company entered the natural and organic foods business and is now a leading global provider of natural and organic foods.
Murray was appointed a director of SunOpta in July 2010, Vice Chair in March 2011 and served as Chairman of the Compensation Committee and as a member of the Corporate Governance and Audit Committees at various times.
Murray has over 30 years of experience as a supplier to the food industry in three continents. He spent 10 years with Unilever, primarily in marketing roles both in the Netherlands and South Africa. From 1990 to 2010 he worked for Tetra Pak, the world leader in processing and packaging systems serving the food industry. During this period he led their operations in South Africa, Central Europe (Czech Republic and Slovakia) and North America. Murray has been a Board member of the National Food Processors Association, now merged with Grocery Manufacturers Association, and the International Dairy Foods Association.
Murray serves as a director of a number of private organizations and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of NextFoods, creators of GoodBelly probiotic fruit drink, based in Boulder, Colorado.
"We are pleased to have Alan Murray assume the Chairmanship of the Company," said Jeremy Kendall who is Past Chairman of the Board of SunOpta. "Since joining the SunOpta Board four years ago, he has provided great insight and augmented the strategic orientation of the organization, while gaining invaluable experience, serving on all Board Committees and also as Vice Chair since 2011. I wish Alan much success as Chairman of the Board, and look forward to continuing to work with him as an active member of the Board of Directors."
"This is an exciting time for SunOpta as we continue to build a global leader in healthy, natural and organic foods, and I am excited to assume the role of Chairman of the Board," Murray said. "We have an excellent platform that has been built under the leadership of our Past Chairman, Jeremy Kendall. I look forward to continuing to work with Jeremy, and on behalf of SunOpta, want to thank him for his 31 years of leadership, guidance, strategic vision and friendship."
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods products. The Company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging of natural and organic food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategically vertically integrated business models. The Company's core natural and organic food operations focus on value-added grains, fiber and fruit based product offerings, supported by a global infrastructure. The Company has two non-core holdings, a 66.0% ownership position in Opta Minerals Inc., listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and a minority ownership position in Mascoma Corporation, an innovative biofuels company.
The SunOpta Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3958