T raders at St George’s Market have become the first in Northern Ireland to sign up to the national ‘Real Deal’ charter. The campaign – to which 46 local authorities have already committed – is aimed at stamping out the possibility of fake, illegal or unsafe goods being sold from market stalls.
Pat Dyer, Chairman of the Belfast branch of the National Traders Federation spoke on the behalf of traders at the South Belfast market.
“All of us are committed to giving shoppers at St George’s Market a real deal – not only in terms of price but also in the quality of goods we sell,” he said. “Counterfeit goods have no place in St George’s and we as traders are committed to making sure that they do not find their way in, and that the market is a ‘fake free’ environment. That is why we are fully supportive of the authorities and this initiative, which can only be a benefit to markets as a whole.”
Belfast City Council has become the first local authority in the North to embrace the scheme, and the move reinforces a number of measures already in place at the historic market to combat the sale of counterfeit goods.
Patricia Lennon, Real Deal Campaign Director, hopes other northern councils sign up to the Real Deal.
“We are delighted that Belfast’s flagship St George’s Market is the first in Northern Ireland to adopt the Real Deal charter and we hope that other councils will follow this lead,” she said.
“The Real Deal provides a proven framework for market operators, councils, enforcement agencies and businesses to work together, at a local level, to keep counterfeit conmen, and dealers in other illicit goods, out of markets and car boot fairs.”
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris, is a spokesperson for the Organised Crime Task Force.
“Fake items may appear attractive but profits from them find their way into organised crime gangs involved in drugs supply, human trafficking and terrorism,” he warned.
“This partnership with Belfast City Council is a positive example of how agencies can work together to promote law-abiding market activity providing benefits for customers, traders and communities and reducing opportunities for criminal activity.”