YEAR 2013 N.º 2

ISSN 2182-9845

The Date of Maturity in Agreements for the Sale of Food Products

Jorge Morais Carvalho


Maturity of the obligation; late payment; food products; relationship between producer and retailer; self-regulation; mandatory rules


Decree-Law 118/2010, 25 October, as amended by Decree-Law 2/2013, 9 January, in essence deals with the date of maturity in agreements regarding the sale of food products entered into between small producers and large companies that purchase food products for their productive or retailing activities, whereby it establishes that, unless an instrument of self-regulation provides differently, the term for the payment cannot be longer than 30 days. This is a mandatory legal regime, clearly indicating the existence of an unbalanced relationship between the two parties, in which the large retailer can set the terms and the small producer has to submit to them. In this paper we will analyse the scope of this statute, through a detailed description of the legal regime thereby enacted, followed by an analysis of the main issues raised and, finally, by an assessment of the private autonomy of the parties pursuant to the statute, emphasizing the interests sought to be protected by the Decree-Law.