The FIG Tree, Fair Trade Visitor Centre & Café at St. John's Lancaster
FIG Tree News
We have recently received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, ‘The FIG Tree relocating to St John’s Lancaster’. The project will focus on Lancaster’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade during the 18th century with two aspects – the history of St John’s Church, built at the height of the city’s prosperity during the slave trade, and the involvement of Dodshon Foster, a wealthy Quaker slave trader living and working in Lancaster during this period.
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.
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
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
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 TreeSteve Miller, Former Chief Executive, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, (World Heritage site), 2013