History of the FIG Tree


Where it all began

The FIG Tree is the world’s first international Fair Trade Visitor Centre. Originally opened in 2011 in Garstang (the world’s first Fair Trade Town) but then relocating to Lancaster. The people of Garstang voted for their unique status at a public meeting in April 2000 and since then over 2,000 Fair Trade Towns in 30 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.

After having to relocate from Garstang in 2015, The FIG Tree moved to St. John’s Church in historic Lancaster but following severe flood damage in December the same year was again forced to move.

The FIG Tree can now be found in The Priory at the top of Castle Hill in Lancaster. The FIG Tree @ The Priory cafe and chocolate shop is now open most Saturdays from 10.30am – 3.30pm. Please check the details under ‘Cafe/Shop’ on this website to ensure the cafe is open and avoid disappointment.

The FIG Tree became a cooperative in 2017 and now aims to increase our membership and help raise funds to enable us to establish new premises in central Lancaster. For details on how to become a member click here.

Continuing the success built up in Garstang, The FIG Tree provides

–   A Fair Trade Exhibition focusing 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’
  • Chocolate – everybody’s favourite Fair Trade treat

Please contact us if you would like to display and/or use the exhibition

– A cafe and a shop selling local and Fair Trade products currently located at Lancaster Priory.

– Unique Bean To Bar chocolate made from beans sourced from the Fairtrade cooperative Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana.

– An Educational Programme including our innovative and unique interactive chocolate making events and workshops focusing on local heritage.

“On The Fair Trade Way” – a long distance Fair Trade Heritage Walk

The FIG Tree also offers:

– Events including Corporate Fair Trade Chocolate workshops.
– Fair Trade Package Tours to Garstang and Lancaster. Please contact us if you would like us to put together a package tailor made to meet your needs.
– Advice, support and information on the International Fair Trade Towns movement
– A variety of volunteering opportunities and the opportunity to become a member 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.

Join the FIG Tree as a volunteer or become a member