We at The FIG Tree fully support the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement following the brutal killing of George Floyd. We do however, completely disassociate ourselves from any violence taking place during these crucial protests. Violence cannot be justified and runs counter to the cause, as such violence is unfair.

We understand the frustration and anger that led to the destruction of the Colston statue in Bristol. We empathise with those whose ancestors may have suffered as a consequence of Colston’s actions having to see the man glorified as “one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city“? We are saddened that the democratic appeals to ‘amend’ the wording on a plaque were ignored. When peaceful protests are ignored, they inevitably and perhaps understandably lead to violence; politicians should take note.

At The FIG Tree we have always encouraged learning from the past in order to move forward. A message depicted by the Ghanaian Adinkra symbol ‘Sankofa’. Statues are of importance in reminding us of our history; whether it be good or bad. We believe that rather than ‘erasing’ history, the Black Lives Movement is making history however, and the removal of statues is another part of that process. History is often distorted, and attempts have even been made to erase it. This is particularly true with regard to the British Empire, colonialism and slavery.

In our workshops we don’t wish to make our students feel guilty, ashamed or even apologetic about our past. We do, however, want them to acknowledge that past and most importantly its legacy. Slave traders justified their brutal deeds by dehumanising Africans; referring to them as ‘Black Cattle’. This contributed to the racism that survives today. We don’t want our students to condemn or hate the slave traders but understand that their actions were not only legal but broadly acceptable at the time. Perhaps in the future people will look back at our actions, which although legal and acceptable today may be viewed very differently tomorrow?

At The FIG Tree we believe that all lives are equal and matter. We continue to reflect on all we do and the way we present our ideas in response to the many varieties of inequality and unfairness that exist in our world. It is currently clear however, that the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement seeks to eradicate an absolutely unacceptable structural inequality that remains embedded in our society despite years of legislation and dialogue. As such the Black Lives Matter movement has our full support for any peaceful action taken.

What we are seeing today is a cultural revolution that is sweeping across the globe. If this should lead to a world free of racism or at least where racism is no longer the norm nor acceptable in society then the removal of statues may well be a price worth paying. Black Lives Matter.

Bruce Crowther & Graham Hulme, FIG Tree Directors

25th June 2020

The FIG Tree will again have a stall at the LESS harvest market in Lancaster between 10am and 5pm on Sunday 22nd September 2019. We will be selling Fair Trade gifts and our bean to bar chocolate made using beans sourced from New Koforidua, Ghana – Africa’s first fair Trade Town. New in stock will be our boxes of 6 vegan chocolates with assorted centres. Limited supply so get there early!

All are welcome to The FIG Tree Chocolate Making Demo starting at 1pm on Monday 12th February in the Refectory at Lancaster Priory.

With the help of our volunteers you can see how FIG Tree chocolate is made from bean to bar.

FIG Tree chocolate will also be available to purchase just in time for Valentine’s Day

Free admission

We sold plenty of our delicious Bean to Bar chocolate at the Lancaster Mid Winter Market on Friday 16th December and in St. Nics Arcade, Lancaster from 19th – 23rd December. FIG Tree Bean to Bar chocolate is available in 5 delicious flavours; Milk, Milk & Orange, Dark, Dark & Mint and Soya and sold as 40g bars, 100g Milk with Banana and Dark with Raspberry and a variety of speciality chocolates. Each batch is hand made from bean to bar in Garstang the world’s first Fair Trade Town using fair trade ingredients where possible and beans purchased directly from the farmer in New Koforidua, Ghana – the first Fair Trade Town in Africa.

Thanks to everyone who visited us over the Christmas period and thanks go to LESS and St. Nics for enabling us to sell our Bean to Bar chocolate. And remember our Bean to Bar 40g bars are available to buy at Single Step Wholefoods, off Penny St, Lancaster all year round.

We are grateful to LESS and St. Nics for enabling us to sell our Bean to Bar chocolate over the Christmas period.

Single Step Wholefoods, off Penny St, Lancaster, The Borough, Dalton Square, Lancaster and the LUSU shop at Lancaster University. Available to buy in 4 delicious flavours; Milk, Milk & Orange, Dark and Dark & Mint. Stocks are limited so get down there now to ensure you don’t miss out.

FIG Tree bean to bar chocolate is sold in 40g bars retailing at £2.50 each. Each batch is hand made from bean to bar in Garstang the world’s first Fair Trade Town using fair trade ingredients where possible and beans purchased directly from the farmer in New Koforidua, Ghana – the first Fair Trade Town in Africa.

The FIG Tree has just received a donation of almost £500 that was collected by the Korea Fair Trade Organization during a networking event held before Christmas. The donations came from concerned individuals on hearing about the flood damage in December and wanted to see The FIG Tree survive and continue its good work. We wish to express our enormous gratitude for a donation that not only provides vital funds but also demonstrates the remarkable support The FIG Tree attracts from its friends across the globe.

We had a successful workshop on Thursday the 3rd of March at the Friends Meeting House, cost £25/head.
We are planning another one soon

Watch this space for more details

Join the FIG Tree as a volunteer or become a member