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Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat, Deposed in Fraud and Breach of Contract Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Don Lee Farms

·2 min read

LOS ANGELES, December 01, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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 Mr. 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.

The Court has continued the Beyond Meat trial to 5/16/22.

About Don Lee Farms:

Established in California in 1982, Don Lee Farms is a family-owned producer of fresh and frozen foods for some of the world's most recognized and successful brands. Don Lee Farms makes plant-based and meat proteins for over 10,000 markets, clubs, foodservice and school foodservice locations. Consumer products and end items are sold at major retailers nationwide such as Costco Wholesale, Whole Foods Markets, Trader Joes, Kroger, Publix, HEB and Albertsons Companies under the Don Lee Farms label, private brands and under brands of their partners. For more information, visit or follow Don Lee Farms on Facebook and Twitter, @DonLeeFarms.

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Don Lee Farms
Maria Aguilar

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