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Immokalee, FL-based Six L's Packing Co. Inc. has greatly increased its volume by inking a deal with Meyer Tomato Co. to become that firms exclusive sales and marketing agent.

The new relationship will give Six Ls close to 5 million more boxes of tomatoes and other winter vegetables to sell.

In a Nov. 2 press release, Darren Micelle, chief marketing officer for Six Ls, said, "Our new sales partnership with Meyer Tomato allows us to broaden our supply base in Mexico and provide our customers with a dependable source of products from multiple growing regions."

Meyer Tomato is a longtime tomato grower-shipper with headquarters in King City, CA, though all its volume now comes from Mexico. Bob Meyer, who is managing partner of Meyer LLC, the holding company for Meyer Tomato Co., founded the firm with his father, Leo, more than a half-century ago.

When it was founded in 1955, Meyer Tomato concentrated its growing and packing operations in the King City area in the southern part Californias Salinas Valley. Over the years, the firm expanded its growing, packing and shipping presence to other areas, including Mexico. Meyer Tomato has been one of the leading distributors of tomatoes and winter vegetables from Mexico for more than 30 years.

In the press release, Six Ls commented that the new relationship with Meyer broadens the firms supplies from Mexico and further solidifies its year- round presence as a category leader.

Mexico has become the volume leader in tomato production in the winter months with production typically starting in late November or early December and continuing into May.

The opportunity to partner with Six Ls Packing provides a clear advantage for us and our growers to work more directly with our customers and take advantage of the year-round sales synergy they can provide, Mr. Meyer said in the press release. Six Ls focus on sales and category development will allow our growers to focus on growing and packing quality product.

In the press release, Mr. Micelle noted that the additional volume from Meyer will include 3 million cases of tomatoes, including rounds, Romas and cherries, and an additional 1 million cases of cucumbers, bell peppers and squash. We are continually evaluating opportunities to grow our business, and the chance to work with Meyer and add an additional 5 million packages to our current Mexico program allows us to establish a dominant U.S. position that mirrors our strength on the East Coast.

Six Ls Packing Co. is a member of the Lipman Family Co., a third-generation, vertically integrated supplier with breeding, farming, packing and sales operations.