Fuel prices have gone down, up, and down again in an eventful first quarter for the petroleum industry. The long-dreaded Cap and Trade carbon tax finally took effect on Jan. 1. This tax affects E.R. Vine’s suppliers, increasing prices by about 10 cents per gallon on gasoline and 12 to 15 cents per gallon on

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Have you ever wondered how fuel gets to your farm? The United States is divided into five geographic areas known as Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADDs). These districts are controlled by the Federal Government, which steps in to control prices or allocations in times of crisis. The Central Valley is in PADD Five, including

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Every independent marketer must make a basic decision: Should the company diversify it’s operations or focus on a core business? Success stories abound with either strategy. But if the decision is to diversify, how can a company cope with multiple ventures – and not become managerially overwhelmed, financially under capitalized, or excessively leveraged? Dick Vine is known for his warm sense of humor, but he doesn’t kid around when it comes to his specialties business. After all, it’s kept E. R. Vine and Sons of Ceres, Ca, healthy ever since his dad started opersations in 1932. The president of one of the area’s largest bulk fuel loading plants in Ceres is overseeing one of the largest tank removal projects in the area as a result of a new federal law. During the height of the Great Depression in 1932, Ellis Richard Vine loaded 5-gallon buckets of oil on his car’s running boards and drove around selling it to anyone who would buy. “Our specialty product business is growing at least 5% a year. It’s a big part of our whole marketing picture,” says Exxon distributor Dick Vine of Ceres, Calif. While customers may not grow on vines, E. R. Vine and his sons, Dick and Don, have certainly grown on customers in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

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