Barter System Makes A Comeback

Barter for Better Fiji is a Facebook page created by three local women to facilitate the exchange of goods without the use of money.
27 Apr 2020 11:17
Barter System Makes A Comeback
Losalini Loga trades wontons for kumquats, on the Facebook page Barter for Better Fiji.

Barter system has returned as the new way of doing business, as recently unveiled by a social media app.

Barter for Better Fiji is a Facebook page created by three local women to facilitate the exchange of goods without the use of money.

Created by Marlene Dutta, the page has gained traction, with the number of followers standing at 30,000 by midday yesterday, just five days after its launch.

A necessity

Ms Dutta, who is also the page administrator, said the idea was born of the reality over the growing difficulty in accessing cash in the face of global recession.

“The primary reason for setting up the Facebook group was to help offer a solution to the current economic situation,” said Ms Dutta.

“For many people across the world and Fiji, money will be harder to come by and even harder to stretch.

“The idea is having an avenue where people could possibly get some things they need or want without spending money, which would help a lot.

“The second reason is environmental and to use the earth’s resources in a better, more meaningful way.

“Instead of storing things away in a back room never to be seen again, or throwing things away that we may not need anymore, we could share them with people that might need them.”


Ms Dutta said the new form of trade would reduce waste as people would reuse and repurpose items.

She said it was about spreading resources around to where they were needed most.


Ms Dutta, a business consultant, said she felt the need to get more constructive when social limitations were put in place following the coronavirus pandemic in Fiji.

She found herself restless from the uncertainties created by the pandemic and found herself frustrated at people who failed to adhere to stipulated directives.

Ms Dutta felt empty from not being able to spend time with family and friends.

Barter for Better Fiji founder Marlene Dutta.

Barter for Better Fiji founder Marlene Dutta.

She channeled her energy to creative use that is today the Barter for Better Fiji social app page.

Numbers aside, the positivity, generosity and enjoyment among those on the page has been the best response, Ms Dutta said.

Talanoa treks

Talanoa Treks co-owner Marita Manley recently posted a barter trade transportation for plants, seeds and even a poem.

“We have two Hilux (a newer version than in this photo – both with canopies) and an amazing trip coordinator who has no trips to coordinate currently,” she said.

“So, if anyone needs transport to anywhere on Viti Levu or around Suva (deliveries, picking up staff that you’d rather not travel by bus, moving goods etc) let us know.

“Happy to accept food, veggies, seeds, art, a poem, song, clothes or just some good talanoa (story) in return.”

Tasty Island Treats Fiji owner Nakita Irvin makes and sells healthy sugar and dairy-free chilled ice blocks which need fruits and natural flavours for colouring.

“Will trade Tasty Island Treats artisan CHILL POPS for fresh moli, niu (coconut) or fresh fruits,” she said.



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