The Real Deal initiative will see market traders, Lancashire County Council Trading Standards service, and Morecambe Market unite to crack down on counterfeits which damage honest businesses and see criminals profit from the proceeds.
Morecambe is the first independent market in Lancashire to display the Real Deal brand – which tells consumers that traders have signed up to a code of practice to ‘self-police’ the market and take action if they spot anything suspicious.
The Real Deal charter was signed by the market’s manager, Frank Cooper, and Lancashire County Council’s chief trading standards officer, Paul Noone.
Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Morecambe market was suffering because of the high number of criminals selling counterfeit goods.
“I’m pleased to hear that the Real Deal is creating a new environment at Morecambe Market; it is becoming popular with shoppers and also with legitimate local businesses who are trading successfully. The Real Deal campaign will make sure it stays that way.
“The traders are best placed to know what’s going on in their own market – any business caught selling fakes damages the reputation and success of the whole market and it’s in everyone’s interest to be vigilant.”
At the heart of the Real Deal campaign is a national markets’ charter which sets out key principles for market operators, Trading Standards, industry and trademark representatives to sign up to and abide by.
By signing the charter, organisations show their commitment to safe and fair trading at their local market.
Morecambe Market’s manager, Frank Cooper, has been instrumental in cleaning the market up: “I’m delighted that Morecambe is the first independent market in the county to sign up to the Real Deal.
“We want everyone to have complete confidence that when they buy local here at Morecambe market, they are buying quality and will get what they’ve paid for.
“As well as helping to prevent crime, Real Deal will encourage trade and encourage honest stallholders back into the market.”
Anyone who is concerned about the sale of illegal goods can contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040 506 or visit www.consumerdirect.gov.uk
You can report counterfeiting or other illegal activity anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
To find out more, search for Real Deal at www.lancashire.gov.uk