Bruce Crowther appeals for Fair Trade movement to raise £30,000 to support survivors of Beirut explosion

Lancashire Fair Trade pioneer Bruce Crowther is seeking donations for a “Building Bridges” appeal to help support survivors of the blast which devastated the port of Beirut last month.

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 9:54 pm
Veteran campaigner: Bruce Crowther, founder of the Fair Trade towns movement pictured at the launch of the Fair Trade City campaign in 2013.

The director of the Garstang based The FIG Tree, who has visited Fair Trade initiatives in Lebanon, said: “The FIG Tree is proud to build a bridge between Fair Trade Towns internationally and the Fair Trade village of Baskinta in Lebanon to make an appeal to help support survivors of the blast."

He continued: "This is a relatively small appeal aiming to raise £30,000 towards providing much needed relief for the Lebanese people. In just a few seconds the catastrophic explosion destroyed the capital city leaving more than 180 dead, dozens missing, around 6,000 injured and over a quarter million people homeless.

"The blast accentuated the terrible situation already facing Lebanon; a country seven times smaller than the Republic of Ireland yet with a population almost one and a half times greater, a third of which consists of refugees fleeing war torn Syria. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic collapse alongside the fluctuation of the Lebanese pound and the political turmoil, this explosion has dissipated all hope."

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Bruce added: "With nine Fair Trade villages Lebanon is a part of the Fair Trade Towns family and in 2016 the Fair Trade village of Baskinta hosted the International Fair Trade Towns Conference – Building Bridges through Fair Trade."

The FIG Tree is an organisation devoted to providing information and education about Fair Trade. It used to have a cafe and information centre in Garstang.

Bruce said : "A donation of £10 will provide a family of three with a food basket to feed them for one day. A donation of £50 will give a family of three a temporary shelter for ten days, along with basic essentials. A donation of £100 will help provide the reconstruction materials (doors, windows and restoration work) for a 100m square house or the restoration of a 40m square shop."

For further information and/or to donate see the Beirut appeal page at