Primary Authority Partnerships

If your business operates or sells products beyond Northamptonshire, including online sales, you may be able to enter into a Primary Authority Partnership with us.

What is a Primary Authority Partnership?

A Primary Authority Partnership is a contract between us and your business to provide ongoing advice and support on specific areas of regulation applicable to your business.

Under the Primary Authority scheme, other regulators are unable to take enforcement action where you have followed specific advice provided by us.

Please visit the Regulatory Delivery website for more information.

Trading Standards now offers business advice to 50 Northamptonshire companies

Corby-based manufacturer of quality everyday kitchen and dining products Creative Tops became the 50th business to go into partnership with Northamptonshire Trading Standards.

Other companies receiving support through the scheme include:

  • Travis Perkins
  • Wickes
  • Carlsberg
  • Whitworths
  • Avon Cosmetics

County council cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage said:


“The Primary Authority scheme has enabled us to continue to provide high quality advice and support to businesses, which means they can operate with the certainty they are adhering to often complex regulations."

Gary Brackenbury, of Creative Tops, said:


“Primary Authority status means recognition and endorsement of our business procedures and processes for design, development and import of high quality tableware and kitchen products.

“This status will enhance customer confidence in our company and service. Benefits for the company include a named contact within the Trading Standards team, so we receive a quick response for any service or expertise we might require.”

Find out more

Further information about Primary Authority partnerships can be found by emailing

​Case studies

​Cambridge Weight Plan Ltd is a manufacturer of formula food products sold in the UK and in many international markets. Based in Corby, the business now employs over 200 full time staff.

“We already had a strong relationship with the Trading Standards Department going back a number of years. We wanted to maintain and develop this as our business grew. Recognising the value of professional, independent advice in an increasingly regulated industrial sector meant that Primary Authority was a good fit.

"Over the years we have had a number of challenges with legislation in our product category and it has been an advantage to have contact with members of the Trading Standards Department who had good understanding of this area.

"We have used the service for a number of things – for example, advice on labelling, product composition, nutrition and health claims in relation to the food products we sell. But also product safety as we sell a small number of consumer goods. We have also used the service to run bespoke training in house.

"Interpretation and clarification of complex EU Regulations is important for our business where over 50% of the production is exported. It was important that the interpretation was clear.

"One of the key advantages of Primary Authority is the reassurance that approved advice can support our business decision making with a certainty which has been missing. Adopting a review policy which incorporates Trading Standards as part of a decision tree at key moments has become standard practice."

​Jo Cumberpatch is a mum from Northamptonshire, and along with her business partner she is the creator and distributor of a children’s activity game called Gotrovo Treasure Hunt. The game is now used in early years settings such as schools, preschools and nurseries across the UK and is listed in the national Early Years Resources catalogue as well as available on Amazon and their website. Gotrovo was awarded My Family Magazine Best Party Game 2015. They launched Gotrovo in the USA with great success in the autumn of 2015 and are now focusing on Australia. They have a new product set to launch in Autumn 2016.

“When we first came up with the idea in 2012 we approached Trading Standards for advice on how to comply with product safety legislation.

"As a start up business we were given advice which was practical and very useful in getting our business off the ground in terms of ensuring we were safe and legally compliant. However, in order to grow our business and have credibility with major suppliers we were looking for a greater level of support.

"We were offered the chance to be in a Primary Authority partnership with Trading Standards and suddenly we had a named contact who took time to understand our products and we had access to official, on the record, assured advice which really counted for something.

"We gained peace of mind which was hugely important to us as mothers of seven children between us. The advice has undoubtedly impacted the direction of our product development, at times by stopping us dead in the water on some avenues and at other times by short cutting us to a reliable safe supplier or design.

"We've avoided some costly mistakes and all for a very low outlay on an 'only as needed' cost basis e.g. we pay for what we use.

"The nurturing offered by Trading Standards and the Primary Authority partnership have contributed towards a successful and expanding business. Without this help arguably we would not be here!"

​The Fry’s business started 25 years ago in South Africa by its current owners Wally and Debbie Fry, who are now assisted by the family in what is still a family business committed to Vegan foods and now operating in over 26 countries. The UK first sold Fry’s some 15 years ago and has built from its core business in the health food sector, to a brand now appearing in the major retailers and also the major businesses in the foodservice sector. In November 2014 the original distributors decided to retire and the UK business became a wholly owned part of the family business.

One of the core values of the Fry’s business has always been quality, underscored by healthy credentials and natural ingredients, so it was a natural decision to seek a partnership with the Northamptonshire Primary Authority whose help and advice has proved invaluable in the development of new lines and packaging and also supporting us if there is a challenge on an item.

Like insurance you tend only to really appreciate the level of support when you have a potential problem, such as when the business changed. The advice that we received ensured consumers were protected and that change of business was managed through seamlessly.

By working closely with the Trading Standards team from original concept through to final packaging the knowledge of current and future proof packaging and legislation has proved invaluable. As a long term partnership the relationship provides a level of security that a commercial consultancy cannot replicate.

We see our Primary Authority as a much valued member of the Fry’s team contributing 52 weeks a year to development and supporting the occasional problem should it occur.