MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — SunOpta Inc. announced on May 18 that its Hope, Minnesota, U.S., facility is the first food manufacturing facility in the U.S. to receive U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Process Verified Program (PVP) verification for non-genetically modified organisms (GMO)/non-genetically engineered (GE) products.

In compliance with the AMS Quality Assessment Division policies and procedures, the USDA has granted approval for SunOpta's Hope facility to produce PVP verified non-GE/GMO food-grade soybeans and corn. SunOpta's soybeans and corn will have the full auditing and verification of the USDA.

SunOpta's Hope facility processes non-GMO and organic soybeans and corn, and the company has implemented the required quality management processes for food safety and transparency. SunOpta was granted approval for an initial six-month period at its Hope facility, and will apply for a verification extension at the end of the period. SunOpta intends to expand the PVP standards at more facilities across its vertically integrated platform.

"Becoming the first PVP verified non-GMO food manufacturing facility in the United States is a great honor for SunOpta and consistent with our commitment to non-GMO and organic food products which are in high demand with today's consumers," said Steve Bromley, chief executive officer of SunOpta. "Having USDA verify that we are complying with our standards ensures that our customers can be confident that they are getting the highest quality non-GMO soybeans and corn. We look forward to implementing the USDA PVP program at other SunOpta facilities across our vertically integrated platform."

The USDA program verification makes it possible for SunOpta to label its food-grade soybeans and corn as non-GMO/GE.