Opening Hours

Mon9am-5pm
Tues   by arrangement
Wedby arrangement
Thur9am-5pm
Fri9am-5pm
Sat9am-5pm
Sun11am-5pm


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The FIG Tree, Fair Trade Visitor Centre & Café at St. John's Lancaster

FIG Tree News


The FIG Tree at St. John’s

Reluctantly The FIG Tree International Fair Trade Centre has moved away from Garstang (the world’s first Fair Trade Town) and relocated to St. John’s Church, North Road, Lancaster. We hope and expect to open up at the new premises in March 2015. Watch this space!

 This decision was not made lightly by our Board of Directors, but we feel it was necessary if The FIG Tree is to continue to thrive and prosper as it should as an international centre. We aim to continue the success we built up in Garstang with the same friendly service, cafe and shop, educational facilities and more. It is however, with the deepest regret that we have had to make this move.

The reasons for our decision are clearly laid out in our timeline of events over the past four years, see below.

While The FIG Tree makes the necessary preparations to reopen again at St. John's we are still hosting international visits and running our educational workshops, so please contact us if interested.

Our unique exhibition on the three interrelated heritage themes; Fair Trade Towns, the British Transatlantic slave trade and its abolition and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is presently on display at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery until 9 February when it will be set up for the first time in our new premises at St. John's.

 We hope you will visit The FIG Tree at its new location sometime and/or consider volunteering with us.


A timeline of events leading to our decision to relocate to Lancaster is available at:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rs7wx5006mirz7k/Why%20is%20The%20FIG%20Tree%20moving%20Timeline.docx?dl=0

 Bruce Crowther MBE

Executive Director, The FIG Tree

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Volunteering roles at The FIG Tree at St. John's
There are a variety of volunteering opportunities developing as we prepare for and then open at St. John's. If you would like to be part of this new and exciting stage of The FIG Tree's story please contact Emma.

We offer volunteering opportunities in our café and shop, school and community workshops and visits, our exhibitions, tourism, fundraising, marketing and events. 
No experience required as training is provided. We offer flexible opportunities - it doesn’t matter how much or little time you can spare – 
we’d love to hear from you. 
 To find out about volunteer opportunities click here or contact Emma, our Volunteers Coordinator at: volunteering@fairtradecentre.org 
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The FIG Tree is the world's first international Fair Trade Visitor Centre and originally opened in 2011 in Garstang; the world's first Fair Trade Town. The people of Garstang voted for their unique status at a public meeting in April 2000 and since then over 1,500 Fair Trade Towns in 25 countries worldwide, including London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Brussels, Copenhagen, Oslo, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Vancouver and Wellington in New Zealand have all followed in Garstang's footsteps.

Sadly The FIG Tree closed in Garstang in November 2014, but will reopen in St. John's Church, Lancaster in February 2015. St. John's Church was built in 1754 by Lancaster traders at the height of the British Transatlantic slave trade, at the time Lancaster was Britain’s fourth largest slave trade port.

Continuing the success built up in Garstang The FIG Tree will provide;

A Fair Trade Exhibition focussing on fair trade and trade injustice by exploring the four themes; Fair Trade and Fair Trade Towns, The British Transatlantic Slave Trade and its abolition, Quaker Heritage in '1652 country' and chocolate.

A cafe and a shop selling local and fair trade products and our unique Bean To Bar chocolate made from beans sourced in New Koforidua, Ghana – the first Fair Trade Town in Africa.

Educational Programme including our innovative and unique interactive chocolate making events using cocoa from New Koforidua and live video links.

A starting point for The Fair Trade Way - a long distance Fair trade Heritage Walk

The FIG Tree also offers:

  • Events including Corporate Fair Trade Chocolate workshops and Fair Trade chocolate safaris
  • Package Tours to Garstang
  • Advice, support and information on the International Fair Trade Towns movement
  • A variety of volunteering opportunities and the chance to become a Member shareholder of The FIG Tree

We are always keen to adapt our events to meet your requirements so please contact us to find out what we can do for you.

Fair Trade Centre Garstang | Cafe Preston | Chocolate Making

The town of Garstang has been a pioneering force in the Fairtrade movement. They provide a best practice example of how communities can work together for the benefit of society as a whole. The establishment of the FIG Tree international visitor centre is the logical next stage in maintaining Garstang as a beacon for Fairtrade.

Gordon Brown MP, former Prime Minister, February 2011
Fair Trade Centre Garstang | Cafe Preston | Chocolate Making

The beacon that has started in Garstang can spread like wildfire through the whole country and beyond.

George Foulkes MP, former Under Secretary of State, June 2000
Fair Trade Centre Garstang | Cafe Preston | Chocolate Making

I have had the pleasure of working in the museums and heritage sector for nearly 20 years and I can honestly say that I have never witnessed a more impressive project than The FIG Tree

Steve Miller, Former Chief Executive, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, (World Heritage site), 2013
Funded with the help of: UnLtd European Regional Development Fund The Key Fund Heritage Lottery Funding santader logo community foundation logo