SA Supplier contract agreement for school uniforms

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Active Member
17 November 2014
My business has been requested to stock a new custom uniform for local school. We are responsible to buy and sell the uniform from our shop. We have done this for the school for approx 10 years with their current uniform, with no contract and no issues. The verbal agreement for new uniform was made in March 21. Working with the school and their chsoen manufactures, we proceeded to order uniforma for 450 children ready for start of 2022 school year. 5 months into manufacturing the school principle left and a new temp principle appointed. The new principle wants a contract in place. We are ok to have a contract but we do not accept his conditions and are at a stale mate as he will not negotiate or clarify the conditions that we have concern over. The school year finishes in a few days and they are now desperate for us to sign contract as they need to announce to parents who will supply the new uniform. The principle sent me an ultimatum, sign contract within 24 hours or he will end our 10 year relationship and find new supplier. He knows full well that we have their custom uniform on order and will cause us a 6 figure financial loss if we do not agree.
Q1 - Can school enforce a contract 5 months after a deal was made?
Q2 - Is the ultimatum bordering on commercial blackmail? ie sign contract or you we be stuck with a custom uniform that is of no use to anyone but them.
Q3 - Although we have no signed contract, are we still in a legal agreement? We have plenty of email correspondence to prove they made the request.