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Beyond Meat CEO Deposed in Lawsuit Filed by Don Lee Farms
USAgNet - 12/03/2021

Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat, has been deposed in an ongoing lawsuit filed on behalf of Don Lee Farms, a leading plant-based and meat protein manufacturer for national food brands and once exclusive supplier of the Beyond Burger and Beyond Meat products.

Recently, a Bloomberg article highlighted that “the alt-meat darling continues to over-promise and under-deliver” under Ethan Brown’s leadership. They continued that, “In 2021 alone, the company lost its chief financial officer, chief growth officer, chief operating officer, chief marketing officer and chief people officer.”

Beyond Meat’s senior management team is currently being sued under a fraud claim. The fraud claim contains allegations that they deliberately altered and excluded important information from a food safety consultant’s report before it was sent to Don Lee Farms.

According to a Don Lee Farms court filing, Beyond Meat also outright ignored the Order requiring it to provide text messages of Brown. The Court ordered Beyond Meat to provide an explanation for “the 17 months for which [Beyond Meat CEO] Ethan Brown has produced no text messages as well as the missing text messages evidently sent or received but not produced.”

Previously in the case, the Superior Court of California ruled Beyond Meat must pay Don Lee Farms in their contract dispute. The Court found that, despite Beyond Meat's claim, products in question were not adulterated and no evidence submitted by Beyond Meat disputed the fact that Don Lee Farms fully performed under their Exclusive Supply Agreement with respect to this claim. The Court stated that Beyond Meat cannot create a triable issue of material fact based on speculation or guesswork. The Court also ruled that Beyond Meat had no evidence to support their property claim and that their negligent misrepresentation claim was meritless.

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