TORONTO — SunOpta Inc. said it has completed an upgrade and retrofit at its Alexandria, Minn., aseptic processing and packaging facility and begun production of natural broth and soup products for a major international packaged goods company.

According to SunOpta, the Alexandria facility now has the capacity to produce the equivalent of 170 million liters per year of natural and organic alternative beverages such as soy, rice and almond, as well as broth and soup products. In addition, the company now has the ability to package products in 500-ml and 1.5-liter packages in addition to existing 1-liter and 2-liter formats.

SunOpta also said it has initiated a three-year packaging agreement with an international company for aseptically processed and packaged broth products. The products will be packaged in 16-oz and 48-oz formats for retail and food service distribution.

“Expansion of our value-added processing and packaging capabilities into natural and organic broths and soups has been a strategic objective designed to leverage our integrated sourcing, processing and packaging capabilities,” said Allan Routh, president of the SunOpta Grains and Foods Group. “We are extremely pleased to have completed this upgrade and retrofit and commenced production of natural broth products for our new customer and look forward to continuing to leverage our capabilities into complementary natural and organic products categories.”