Eye on Agribusiness
Friendly Fuel America, Inc.
Owner: Mark Piatt
Company History: Mark has had an interest in the biodiesel market for several years. He started going to investor meetings for regional system refineries, becoming more educated on marketing and fuel distribution. The more people talked about biodiesel use, the more Mark heard the question “how do I get it?” “There was all this product refinement, but the end users in our area couldn’t get the product,” Mark noted. So, in 2007 Mark developed a business plan, and in 2008, he became a licensed fuel distributor.
Products and Services: Friendly Fuel America offers regular diesel, off-road diesel for ag use, gasoline, biodiesel and ethanol, depending on what his customers want. “Our primary customer base is in agriculture, heavy construction, company fleets and trucking companies. We serve now about a 50-75 mile radius. We cater to our customer demands for what we supply.” With the volatility of the markets and feedstocks, particularly soybeans, biodiesel hasn’t been a sole focus of the business as of late, but he is still ready to be at the forefront of that market. “We also help set up and service fuel storage and transportation systems for a farm or business,” Mark added.
How do you serve the ag industry?
“Farmers are busy people with cattle, crops and equipment to maintain. They like when their fuel distributor is taking care of their fuel needs at the right time and best price. For a guy buying 500 or 5,000 gallons, a dime saved is a benefit to him.”
What's in the future?
"At Friendly Fuel America, going forward we will be diligent in providing for the customer's needs. Cattlemen and crop farmers, so far have been a great group of people to deal with.” Mark said contracting fuel doesn't always work these days. “With the volatility of the market you need to be able to price shop,” he said, and that means finding a distributor who cares about the customer's needs and can offer friendly service plus a savings with price."
By OFN Staff