Diversified ingredients and minerals supplierSunOpta Inc., Toronto, said it sold frozen fruit processing equipment located in Salinas, Calif., to strawberry processorCal Pacific Specialty Foods, LLC, Moss Landing, Calif. Officials said the assets were previously leased to Cal Pacific and were sold for their book value of approximately $1.8 million, paid in cash on closing. Cal Pacific will continue to supply IQF strawberries and other products to SunOpta under an existing long-term supply agreement.

The processing assets included in this transaction were part of theSunOpta Fruit Group, and more specifically, theSunOpta Fruit Specialtiesfrozen fruit operations, which supply frozen strawberries and other fruit products in individually quick frozen (IQF) and other packaging formats to retail, foodservice and industrial customers in the United States and certain international markets.

"This divestiture is another step in simplifying our frozen fruit business model to focus on value-added private label frozen fruit products for the retail and food service channels and improve long-term profitability," noted Steve Bromley, SunOpta president and CEO. "The funds will be reinvested in other internal growth projects within the company."