This self-regulatory code aims to create a fake free, fair, and legitimate shopping environment at markets.
The campaign is a cross-sector, partnership initiative, bringing together local authority trading standards services, market operators and traders, industry groups, and copyright and trademark owners, all of whom are united with a common commitment to ensure fake-free and fair shopping experiences.
Welcoming the development, Shauna McFall of Naturally North Coast & Glens Community Interest Company, said: “Our Trader Product Standards and Code of Conduct naturally meet the requirements of the Real Deal Charter, so this is a fantastic additional standard for safe, fair markets. It gives shoppers that extra confidence that goods purchased are safe and legal.
“As well as counterfeit items, the Real Deal charter covers all laws and regulations that would be enforced by trading standards including copyright infringements, weights and measures and product safety.”
Offering his congratulations, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Richard Holmes said: “Council is very proud to work with Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market at many events in our Borough.
“The local produce and crafts made by the stallholders are second to none, and the market is a great asset for the area. I am very pleased that its commitment to upholding the highest trading standards has now been officially recognised in this way, and I would like to congratulate all those who have contributed towards this.”
Patricia Lennon, National Manager of the Real Deal campaign, said: “We are delighted to welcome Naturally North Coast and Glens into the Real Deal. It is fantastic that the market’s organisers, their traders, and the Trading Standards Service in Ballymena are uniting under the Real Deal banner to keep this event fake-free, protecting shoppers and supporting legitimate, hard-working businesses.”
Damien Doherty, Chief Inspector of the Trading Standards Service, added: “Fake items may appear attractive, but consumers should be aware of the wider implications and the risks to their own safety. There has been a worrying increase in potentially dangerous fake goods being sold to consumers such as electrical equipment, toys, personal care products and medicines.
“Counterfeit goods are big business, a drain on the economy, cost jobs and are closely linked to organised crime both in Northern Ireland and abroad. Counterfeiting and piracy also cause considerable damage to legitimate businesses.
“This partnership with Naturally North Coast and Glens is a positive example of how organisations can work together to promote law-abiding market activity providing benefits for customers, traders and communities and reducing opportunities for criminal activity.”
Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market will be operating during the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival at Ballycastle seafront on Saturday May 28, Sunday, May 29 and Friday, June 3.
For further information go to www.naturallynorthcoastandglens.co.uk