FERAL TRADE products passed by hand

Feral Trade is a grocery business and public experiment, trading goods over social networks. The word 'feral' describes a process which is wilfully wild (as in pigeon) as opposed to romantically or nature-wild (wolf). The passage of goods can open up wormholes between diverse social settings, routes along which other information, techniques or individuals can potentially travel.

The first registered feral trade was in 2003, with the import of 30kg coffee direct from Sociedad Cooperative de Cafecultores Nonualcos R.L. (CODECANO) in San Pedro Nonualco El Salvador to the Cube Microplex, Bristol UK. The import was negotiated using only social contacts, and conducted via email, bank transfer and SMS. The coffee is traded on through the UK and Europe over social, cultural and occupational networks; harnessing the surplus freight potential of existing travel (friends, colleagues, passing acquaintances) for the practical circulation of goods. New products are chosen for their shelf-life and capacity for sociability: feral trade goods in recent circulation include the whole coffee harvest of Finca El Volador in Coatapec, Mexico; plus olive oil from Spain, bamboo shoots from China and Cube-Cola from UK.

Design and production of documentary product packaging is an integral part of the feral trade process, with a view to rendering details of source, shipping and handling with the microattention that ingredient listings normally receive. See the feral trade courier database for more information.

contact kate@feraltrade.org