A producer and his new importer will naturally be excited when they enter into a new relationship or venture. They feel positive about doing business together, and that they can trust each other. Their priorities will be to get their mutual business going, get stock moving, develop the marketing plan, and so on. Of course we'll need a proper legal agreement, they say, but it's not a priority – we can sort it out later.
That approach can be very dangerous. Time will pass. An inkling of trouble ahead may prompt one or other party to suggest that it's time the contract was sorted out. But by then it will almost certainly be too late – why would one party agree to something that will only benefit the other party at that stage in the game?
Only the parties themselves can make a contract – the court can't do it for them. It can't give either the producer or the agent/distributor, retrospectively, the contractual protection he should sensibly have tried to have put in place, but didn't. There may be situations in which it will be in your interests not to have a written contract, but that will not often be the case and coming to a decision requires careful analysis. See:
What about the contract that never gets signed?
It happens a lot in the UK wine trade ........
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