IMMOKALEE, Fla. — Six L’s Packing Co. Inc. is taking over tomato sales for Meyer LLC’s Nogales, Ariz., operation.
The grower-shipper also is expanding into corn and beans this fall.
Larry Lipman, chief executive officer of the Lipman Family Cos., which owns tomato and vegetable grower-shipper Six L’s and produce distributor Custom Pak, said Six L’s plans to sell tomatoes for King City, Calif.-based Meyer in Nogales.
In 2006, Six L’s partnered with CAB Produce Co., Nogales, to sell and ship greenhouse-grown tomatoes from Nogales as well as Mexican hothouse round red tomatoes, field-grown romas and other vegetables and fruit that Six L’s procures and consolidates through CAB’s offices.
The deal with Meyer is expected to add 1.2-2 million boxes to Six L’s’ tomato deal, Lipman said, with 90% of them mature greens.
Evan Gusar, a 20-year Six L’s tomato sales veteran who sells Six L’s West Coast tomatoes through a partnership with Sun Pacific, Visalia, Calif., will be in charge of the Mexican sales and will remain in the west instead of returning to Florida to do eastern sales, Lipman said.
“California and Mexico work together better than California and Florida sales,” Lipman said. “When you have California contacts and are selling California and Mexico, those two go together a lot better.”
Other changes have been made in recent weeks.
Sergio Chamberlain, former sales and general manager of Meyer’s Nogales office, left in October to start his own company. Jesse Driskill, president of the Nogales-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, announced plans to join Meyer as Nogales operations manager on Nov. 15.
In other news, Six L’s is opening Florida’s fall vegetable season by adding sweet corn and green beans and nearly doubling potato acreage. The grower-shipper is expanding acreage of its proprietary Vintage Ripe heirloom tomatoes and grape tomato varieties.
In a Nov. 2 news release, Six L’s officials said the company has taken big steps in sustainability and social responsibility initiatives. The company, according to the news release, has incorporated recycling programs, adding solar power and conserving water as well as updating equipment and technology to decrease water, fuel and pesticides.
“Our commitment to quality, our workers and the environment must go hand in hand,” Darren Micelle, Six L’s chief marketing officer, said in the release. “We are proud of the advancements we have made and credit our employees and customers for helping us think of new ways to add value to the business.”