Fifty Devon businesses have the chance to join trading standard’s Made in Devon scheme with their first year of membership free.
Consumers need to be confident that they are buying genuinely Devon sourced products, which in turn is a selling point and source of pride for businesses.
Scheme membership will enable businesses to demonstrate that any claims made about a product’s Devon origins have been checked, vetted and verified by officers from Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards.
The scheme is an extension to Buy With Confidence, a trading standards scheme which helps to protect consumers by guaranteeing that its members trade in an honest and fair way. The Made in Devon extension has been designed to maximise the potential for recent changes to consumer habits to buy more locally.
The first 50 businesses that apply for Made in Devon, and have their business successfully vetted and audited, will be entitled to a free membership of both Made in Devon and Buy With Confidence for the first 12 months.
Businesses wishing to join are assessed to ensure that they and their products meet the qualifying criteria; that their goods are actually made in Devon and that the component parts of products, or ingredients of foods, are sourced from within the county.
Membership also provides local businesses with access to legal advice, and regulatory and business support and advice from qualified and experienced trading standards officers – services that non-members are charged for.
Additionally, members will have their business listed on the Buy With Confidence website and their membership will also be highlighted on the Scheme’s social media channels. The Buy with Confidence team will be undertaking a comprehensive marketing campaign to promote the scheme to consumers.
Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills said: “Traditionally, as part of the run-up to Christmas, November is when local businesses make much of their money.
“This year however, because of lockdown, the opportunity for Christmas shopping will be reduced and not all businesses are able to offer an on-line service.
“We know that given the choice people prefer to shop locally and support local businesses.
“Signing up to Made in Devon will reassure customers, so when your business does reopen, they know that the goods you are selling are genuine, Devon-made quality goods from a trustworthy local trader.”
To apply, businesses are asked to go to the Buy With Confidence website and complete the application form, writing “Made In Devon” in the Reference Code box to apply for the free membership.