Local market organisers and Highland Council Trading Standards praised for keeping Highland shoppers safe from counterfeits
The Black Isle Farmers Society, the organisers of the MFR Car Boot Sale and Highland Council Trading Standards have been praised for signing up voluntarily to a nationwide, consumer-friendly ‘Fake-Free Markets’ charter.
Through this initiative, which represents one of more than 500 similar partnerships across the UK, they are working closely together to protect local shoppers and legitimate businesses by helping to stamp out rogue traders and counterfeit products.
Trading Standards will also be carrying on their campaign against counterfeits on Wednesday 4 December at the Eastgate Centre in Inverness, as they participate in the ‘Festive Safe’ campaign run by Police Scotland.
The Real Deal Campaign charter sees its 10th anniversary this week. It is an initiative in the National Markets Group for IP Protection (NMG). The campaign reassures consumers that they can expect to buy only genuine brands and quality goods when they shop at local markets, car boot sales or selling groups bearing the ‘Real Deal’ logo. The NMG is made up of a partnership of law enforcement, government and industry stakeholders, supported by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA).
Patricia Lennon, National Coordinator of the ‘Real Deal’ Campaign for the NMG, said: “The Real Deal and ‘Fake Free Markets’ Charter has proved to be a huge reassurance for shoppers. We cannot praise highly enough the commitment we have seen from markets and Trading Standards services who have jointly signed up to the charter to protect their customers from buying untested, poor quality, potentially unsafe counterfeit products.
“In displaying the ‘Real Deal’ logo, a market gives reassurance to shoppers that it is a safe place to buy and sell. It also sends a strong ‘keep out’ message to any would-be traders in counterfeits who have no scruples when it comes to selling sub-standard products.”
David MacKenzie, Trading Standards Manager said: “In the past few years we have seen an increase in the sale of fake goods throughout the Highlands; so we need to work with business to ensure consumers can continue to have a high level of confidence when buying from our markets and car boot sales.
"Therefore, we are delighted that local market organisers join schemes like the Real Deal Charter and follow their code of practice.
Officers from the Trading Standards team continue to investigate counterfeit goods been sold online and offline and I urge consumers who suspect sellers of committing the crime of selling fake goods to contact us”.
Graham Mogg, Chair of NMG, said: “Counterfeit products are not only bad news for consumers, but also for legitimate, hard-working local business owners who risk losing sales.
“When counterfeits find their way into a market environment, the revenue goes to the black market rather than the economy. The trade in fakes is frequently found to be linked to organised crime – something that would horrify most shoppers or traders if they knew.”
Although a large number of outlets have signed up to the scheme, the NMG is using this 10th anniversary milestone to urge more markets to join the initiative. More information on the Real Deal campaign and its 10th anniversary celebrations can be found at www.realdealmarkets.co.uk
Highland Council Trading Standards display at the Eastgate Centre’s Falcon Square entrance on Wednesday has the theme - Anti-counterfeiting and how consumers can protect themselves from getting conned into buying fake goods online and at markets.
Consumers can come along and enter a competition to guess which goods are fake and which are genuine.
If you are a victim of buying counterfeit goods or wish to report someone selling counterfeit goods, please contact Trading Standards https://www.highland.gov.uk/counterfeits