BUYING from markets can be a great way to shop but there is often a worry that things might not be all that they seem.

Ludlow and other market towns have excellent and in some cases award-winning markets.

Now shoppers across the UK are increasingly likely to enjoy a genuine purchase from their local market, thanks to a consumer-friendly ‘Fake-Free Markets’ charter which is seeing its 10th anniversary.

An initiative of the National Markets Group for IP Protection (NMG), the Real Deal ‘Fake Free Markets’ Charter reassures consumers that they can expect to buy only genuine brands and quality goods when they shop at any local market, car boot sale or selling group displaying the ‘Real Deal’ logo.

Since 2009, more than 500 local markets have signed up voluntarily to the charter via their local Trading Standards service, helping to stamp out rogue traders and potentially harmful counterfeit products.

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).

“The Real Deal charter has proved to be a huge reassurance for shoppers,” said Patricia Lennon, National Coordinator of the ‘Real Deal’ Campaign for the NMG

“We cannot praise highly enough the commitment we have seen from markets and Trading Standards across the UK 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 reassures its customers 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.”

Graham Mogg, chair of the NMG, said the initiative benefits legitimate traders and people who do their shopping at markets up and down the country.