Canadian organic and natural foods company SunOpta has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Cleugh's Frozen Foods Inc of Buena Park, California.

The undisclosed purchase price includes cash and assumption of debt.

Cleugh's is a third generation family business with annual revenues of in excess of US$50m. The business focuses on processing natural and organic frozen fruits and vegetables 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 approximately 60,000 square feet. The facilities are located in two of California's largest strawberry growing regions, which represents Cleugh's primary product.

The acquisition of Cleugh's further strengthens SunOpta's vertically integrated fruit based operations, the company said. 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. Joseph Stern, president of Organic Ingredients Inc a wholly-owned subsidiary of SunOpta, commented that "the acquisition of Cleugh's further strengthens our sourcing and processing capabilities, and in turn our ability to service our customers by ensuring the highest quality and supply."

Cleugh's processing and packaging capabilities will enable the company to service current customers from SunOpta-owned production facilities, thereby improving SunOpta's ability to manage the supply chain 'from field to table' and extending its vertically integrated model in fruit ingredients.

"We're extremely excited to have formed this partnership with SunOpta," said Michael Cleugh, president of Cleugh's. "Our combined capabilities will enable us to expand our product offerings to our customers and service a growing consumer demand for organic fruit products."

"We expect the demand for natural and organic fruits and vegetables to continue to grow significantly as consumers seek healthier food options," said Steve Bromley, president and COO of SunOpta Inc. "Cleugh's has a long and rich family history in the frozen fruit industry and will significantly expand our capabilities in these markets."