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Old 12-05-2020, 12:03   #1
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Food for barter

I've been wondering, in much the same vane that people load up on foods that may be hard to find abroad, what sort of items do people abroad crave that would make good bartering currency? I would think maybe sweets but I'd love to hear someone what you have found the locals crave that would be good to have on board.
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Old 13-05-2020, 07:44   #2
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Re: Food for barter

What’s local in this context?
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Old 13-05-2020, 08:07   #3
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Re: Food for barter

Really anywhere. I.e. are there things that are difficult to get in places like the family islands of the Bahamas that the locals appreciate or islands in the Pacific where supply ships may go infrequently. Is there some brand of something that has been introduced that may not be commonly imported, i.e. a can of Coke or maybe a candy bar? I like to have things handy to give away or trade so I'm always interested in what I may want to have on hand.
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Old 13-05-2020, 09:37   #4
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Re: Food for barter

What we have found in cruising the Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean is that on those islands where things are hard to get, it is very rare the locals have things we would want to barter for, and cash is well appreciated. In places that do have things we want, typically supplies are readily available.

If you are thinking you want to load up on things to save money when you get there, you'll likely be disappointed. If you are looking to make a few friends and grease the social skids, you'll find that routine ships stores will work well enough.

What we have found most valued by the locals is fresh, ocean fish. A couple steaks from that 50lb tuna or wahoo will make you a hero in a lot of places. We never sell fish, or explicitly barter it, to avoid running afoul of local regulations and work rules. We also limit the amount we share, especially if there are local fisherman who are trying to make a living. Sometimes, they can be the best people to gift such a thing to.

Don't forget too, that anything you leave behind on the islands, needs to have import duty paid. It might seem unlikely such a rule would be enforced, but you never know. That nice guy you traded a box of outboard spark plugs for a side of goat might have a brother-in-law who works for Customs and is hoping for a promotion...
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Old 13-05-2020, 10:18   #5
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Re: Food for barter

Not food related but friends of our who circumnavigated found that coloring books and crayons went a long way with parents of kids 7 years old and younger. They would stock up at the equivalent of "dollar stores" in major cities and then distributed them in out of the way places wherever they went and it made a big impression on both kids and parents.
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Old 13-05-2020, 10:29   #6
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Re: Food for barter

In Fiji (outer islands) the number one item we got asked for was breakfast crackers. A local staple, easily available in pretty much every shop, but not always to be had in the outlying places.

In remote French Polynesia it was vegetable oil. Don't know why, but that was the food item lacking in availability.

Trying to know these things in advance can be quite a challenge (we left FP with plenty of veg oil, not something the Fijians wanted/needed/cared for).

The one other item we have found appreciated in most of the remote places is fuel. Diesel or gas. Don't know if this is a matter of availability or economics (fuel requires hard cash).
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Old 13-05-2020, 10:41   #7
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Re: Food for barter

Quote:
Originally Posted by svspirited View Post
Really anywhere. I.e. are there things that are difficult to get in places like the family islands of the Bahamas that the locals appreciate or islands in the Pacific where supply ships may go infrequently. Is there some brand of something that has been introduced that may not be commonly imported, i.e. a can of Coke or maybe a candy bar? I like to have things handy to give away or trade so I'm always interested in what I may want to have on hand.
We lived for two years in a relatively remote place in Indonesia. At that time, there were essentially no dairy products available other than Kraft slices which apparently did not require refrigeration. We really appreciated gifts of cheese when visitors arrived from Jakarta. Locals were not accustomed to fresh dairy products and were happy drinking powdered milk. Much depends on what you are used to.

However, Coke and other fizzy drinks were very popular, relatively expensive and more often than not, consumed warm because there wasn't a lot of refrigeration in smaller villages. Visitors to our home were always very grateful for a cold Coke or Pepsi or Fanta. If we were visiting people in a village they would often spend their precious money on the same in order to honor us as visitors. We learned to bring gifts of those things. Consumption was so low, that I don't think that we were contributing to the development of bad dietary practice.

The other thing that I have discovered to be nearly universally popular and much appreciated but often very hard to find or very expensive, is honey. I still visit Indonesia a couple or three times a year and typically bring bottles of honey as gifts for people that I work with or visit. They are super grateful, particularly if it is Manuka honey from NZ.

While crossing to French Polynesia last year, we ate very well. This little video shows our "equator crossing" meal which was not atypical but somewhat special because of the event that we were celebrating:



Despite meals like that, we frequently discussed what we were going to look for once we reached our destination. For me and our friend who was crewing, it was a cheeseburger. We did find some good ones in Papeete.
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Old 13-05-2020, 14:20   #8
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Re: Food for barter

This stuff is hard to find and it’s mission critical

not just a taste treat ....but for medicinal purposes

Effective against cholera, yellow fever , snake bite, malaria , corona , male erectile disfunction .. You name it

Very valuable , easy to barter a bottle of Susies hot sauce for a couple gallons of antifoul
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Old 22-05-2020, 20:57   #9
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Re: Food for barter

I came here with much the same question, but not focused on food.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums....php?p=3145997
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Old 22-05-2020, 23:28   #10
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Re: Food for barter

Try to be sensitive to individually wrapped anything. It all winds up in the ocean in many places outside of developed countries. Same as the trash you might pay someone to take off of your boat in an anchorage. You're trying to be environmentally sensitive. They just want the bit of money you give but have no responsible disposable facility ashore. Your trash might wind up in a heap, which makes it's way to the streams and ocean.


Sorry for the thread drift.
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