Courtesy of Upside Foods

Upside Foods Lays Off 26 People in Wake of Florida Cultivated Meat Ban

July 3, 2024
Cultivated meat processor is cutting staff to remain “agile” after Florida cultivated meat ban went into effect July 1.

Just a few days after hosting a cultivated chicken product tasting party in Miami, Fla. — ahead of that state’s ban on cultivated meat — processor Upside Foods is laying off 26 workers and restructuring its executive and leadership teams, as noted in an email obtained by science and tech magazine Wired.

The Florida ban on cultivated meat took effect on July 1, and that, coupled with increased challenges to attract investment by companies in the cultivated meat space, has Upside Foods reacting to tighten its focus and get its products launched. The company is still one of two (Eat Just is the other) approved by FDA and USDA to sell their chicken product in the U.S., but delays and hurdles continue to arise.

The June 27 event, which offered 100 people free tastings of the Upside Foods cultivated chicken product, was designed to celebrate and advocate “for food freedom and innovation that can help build a better future,” a release noted at the time.

Regarding the current layoffs, an Upside Foods spokesperson told Wired in a statement that the cuts were needed for the company “to stay agile in the face of an uncertain macroeconomic environment and preserve the resources needed to reach our milestones.”

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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