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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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It’s chocs away as sweets are banned in Ulverston shop

A CONSUMER watchdog has banned a sweet shop from selling their golden ticket Wonka Bars to raise cash for a cancer charity.

Ulverston’s Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe launched a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory -style competition last month.

But a Trading Standards crackdown on Tuesday saw the Market Street shop told to remove all remaining chocolate bars from their shelves, after it emerged they were counterfeit goods.

The fake confectionary was being sold all over the UK and bought directly from travelling sales teams and from internet sites. Trading standards officers in Suffolk were first alerted to the scam by the BBC’s Fake Britain programme.

The competition, based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book, gave customers at the Ulverston shop a chance to win tickets to see the West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory if they stumble across the winning ‘golden ticket’ hidden in a bar of chocolate.

A total of £1 was donated to St Mary’s for each Wonka bar sold and the shop has raised £1,000 during the promotion.

Shop owner, Lynn Davies, said she bought the fake chocolate bars on eBay from a man in Barry, south Wales.

She said she bought them in good faith for the competition and was shocked when the consumer watchdog confiscated them.

Mrs Davies said: “They just came into the shop and told us to remove the bars we had left, so we did.

“Luckily the competition was coming to an end anyway and we will be picking the winner on Saturday.

“We always said they were replica Wonka bars and everyone was happy. “We have managed to do what we wanted and have raised £1,000 for the hospice. We just wanted to do something for the hospice and we weren’t hurting anyone.

Angela Jones, Trading Standards service manager at Cumbria County Council, said: “We would like to congratulate the shop for the work that they have put in to raise money for St Mary’s Hospice. We know how important this kind of fundraising can be.

“However, the Wonka Bars being sold were fake – they breached the copyright of Nestlé, which owns the trademark, and they have not sold Wonka Bars since 2005.

“We have a duty to act when we receive information that fake goods are being offered for sale. We understand the shop bought the bars in good faith and at the time of our conversation with them 11 of these fake Wonka Bars remained. At £1 donated per bar sold this represented potentially an £11 donation to the hospice. In these special circumstances we are happy to make our own donation to the hospice of £20 to cover the loss to the charity.”

A Nestlé spokesperson said: “This was an innovative way for the shop to raise money for St Mary’s Hospice and in a small way to make up for the disappointment, Nestlé would like to offer a hamper to be used to raise money for this good cause.

“The bars do not meet labelling requirements and use the Wonka brand without Nestlé’s permission.

“We would urge shopkeepers to be wary of anyone offering them these products to sell.’’

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