Beyond Meat Settles Lawsuit with Former Co-Packer

Oct. 19, 2022
The resolution comes just before the contentious lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial.

Beyond Meat has put at least one of its troubles behind, reaching a settlement that will end an acrimonious lawsuit brought by a former co-manufacturer.

Don Lee Farms had contracted with Beyond in 2014 to process and package burgers made with Beyond’s plant-based meat substitute. However, Beyond terminated the agreement in 2017, accusing Don Lee of allowing unsanitary conditions at its plant that resulted in tainted product. Don Lee sued, saying the contamination problems were Beyond’s fault and that Beyond was using them as an excuse to get a better deal with another coman.

Beyond and Don Lee reached a settlement on the eve of trial in which “the parties agreed to dismiss all claims and cross-claims,” according to a joint statement.

Don Lee also sued Beyond again this year, charging that Beyond had overstated the amount of protein in its products. That lawsuit, which was regarded as a means to put additional pressure on Beyond, is in private mediation.

The settlement is a rare bit of good news for Beyond, which has been plagued by losses and departures by key executives. The company recently announced plans to lay off almost a fifth of its workforce.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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