SunOpta Inc. today announced that it has joined with several prominent companies in the natural and organic products industry to form a new not for profit business association known as The Food Trade Sustainability Leadership Association (FTSLA). The association is currently comprised of nineteen member companies and this number is expected to grow in the coming months.
The objective of the FTSLA is to provide a network for businesses to share best practices and work toward sustainable improvements in key areas including organics, climate change, energy utilization, distribution, labor, packaging, water, waste management, animal care, corporate governance and consumer education, and in doing so, develop a clear framework for businesses to monitor and report progress, using common metrics and explicit benchmarks.
The initial focus of the organization is to complete the launch of a "Declaration of Sustainability" Sign-on Campaign, an 11-point action plan aimed to promote education and action toward sustainable business practices in the natural and organic food trade. Companies signing this pledge commit to continual improvement and transparency around their practices in key areas and in return will receive the education and tools needed to support their efforts. The FTSLA will administer the Declaration sign-on process and provide members with hands-on technical assistance to measure and make progress towards the goals laid out in the pledge.
Nathan Morr, Director of Social & Environmental Responsibility for SunOpta and President of the FTSLA Board commented, "I look forward to the success of this ground breaking association. Buckminster Fuller said, 'You never change things by fighting the existing reality; to change something you must build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.' That is what we are doing with the FTSLA -- offering a new model for companies to articulate and monitor their sustainability efforts. The association is a great vehicle which creates an opportunity to band organic food companies together on the path to a more sustainable future, and is consistent with SunOpta's continued commitment to sustainable business practices. "
About SunOpta Inc.
SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food and natural health markets. The Company has three business units: the SunOpta Food Group, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged products; Opta Minerals Inc. (CA:OPM: news, chart, profile) (66.6% owned by SunOpta), a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and SunOpta BioProcess Inc. which engineers and markets proprietary steam explosion technology systems for the bio-fuel, pulp and food processing industries. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector.
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Certain statements included in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the benefits of the FTSLA as detailed above. Whether actual benefits will agree with expectations and predications of the Company is subject to many risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond the control of the Company. Consequently all forward-looking statements made herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by the Company will be realized.