Organic food group SunOpta has named ex-Maple Leaf Foods and Tyson Foods executive Tony Tavares as COO.

Tavares will join the Canada-based firm in June and will take on operational and strategic responsibility for its food operations.

Tavares was CEO of Maple Lodge Farms and has been president of Maple Leaf's poultry business and Tyson's Canadian unit.

SunOpta president and CEO Steve Bromley said Tavares' "extensive experience" would help drive the business forward.