Ms. Aleša Mižigoj, Director, Medex

by Kanchi Batra - 2 July, 2021, 12:00 2288 Views 0 Comment

Medex is one of the leading European producers of food supplements based on bee products and other natural products. We caught up with Ms. Aleša Mižigoj, Director, Medex, to understand Slovenia’s cultural heritage of beekeeping and their tradition in apitherapy and bee-based products.

By Kanchi Batra

Diplomatist: What brought Medex to life? Tell us more about your company and your founders? 

Aleša Mižigoj: Medex is a pioneer in apitherapy, passionate to improve people’s lives with innovative and natural food supplements, with a long and inspiring tradition since 1954. In its almost seven decades of existence, we always operated not only as a honey processor and manufacturer of bee products but rather as the driving force behind the development and knowledge spreading in the field of beekeeping.

In the early years, the company was just a trading company specializing in the export of honey but quickly became the largest supplier of honey in the former Yugoslavia. We played a leading role in the development of beekeeping in that region. Establishing one of the first laboratories in Europe that has been the foundation for the development of apitherapy, Medex begun processing other bee products. Alongside honey, which is certainly the most widespread bee product, we started with the use of royal jelly, propolis, pollen, wax, and bee venom.

We also organised the first international symposium Apimondia in Slovenia which reveals novelties, findings, and results in the field of apitherapy. We collaborate with many experts and institutions around the world, share our knowledge, experience, and constantly strive for education.

Today, Medex is one of the leading European producers of food supplements based on bee products and other natural products. Business process excellence, continual improvement of existing and new products, care for the health and well-being of people, and adherence to current global guidelines place us among reliable producers of natural products, focused on the needs of everyone. 

Diplomatist: Beekeeping is a cherished national tradition in Slovenia, with colourful beehives to be found dotted throughout the country. How is your country sharing knowledge of beekeeping with beekeepers from other countries?

Aleša Mižigoj: Beekeeping is in the Slovenian genes. The national knowledge of the craft spread around the globe, and World Bee Day, celebrated worldwide on May 20, was a Slovenian initiative. We are raising awareness of the importance of bees for the environment and humankind. Every third spoonful of food we eat is dependent on bees and pollination, and for humans, the bee is the third most important animal after cows and pigs. If the bee survives, we survive.

While Slovenia has a lot of cultural heritage of beekeeping other countries are in the developmental stage. We recently partnered in the sustainable project “Development of beekeeping in Ghana” and were invited to participate in the project upon the agreement on economic cooperation between Ghana and Slovenia being signed as part of the Africa Day conference in May 2019. The main project initiator is the EXIM Bank, the largest development and export bank in Ghana. The objective of this two-year project, which the bank intends to expand in the future to the entire West Africa, is to create new jobs, reduce poverty and strengthen rural development. With this project, Medex is fulfilling its mission of sustainability, which also means a better and friendlier world for everyone.

Diplomatist: Under your leadership, Medex has become one of the leading European manufacturers of food supplements based on bee products and other natural components. Could you describe Medex’s mission and goals?

Aleša Mižigoj: We are a globally oriented company with sustainable values, present in more than 30 markets all over the world.

The healing properties of bee-based products have been recognized for thousands of years – and not just honey. Countless generations around the world have used royal jelly, pollen, propolis, bee venom and beeswax for improving their health. We are on a clear mission to upgrade the traditional use of bee products with clinically supported innovations to solve the medical challenges of our times.

We are pushing the frontier of apitherapy by conducting the first double-blinded clinical study showing positive effects of Royal Jelly on humans.

Royal Jelly, with the clinically proven study, is now at the forefront of research in apitherapy and is brought closer to medical use. It has gained an important role in preventive care for alleviating markers of systemic inflammation and returning the body to a state of balance.

With a wide range of positive effects, from boosting your immune system, supporting hormonal balance and brain health, improving fertility, lowering systemic inflammation, which further expands the market potential it is truly the Beehive’s most precious gift.

Recently, we became a proud Ambassador of Slovenia in the national campaign for the promotion of the Slovenian economy abroad “I feel Slovenia. Green. Creative. Smart.” In their respective area, we offer a unique product with added value, and at the same time support a green, creative, and smart Slovenia with our own breakthrough solutions.

Diplomatist: Why is sustainability important to you and your brand? What are the biggest challenges when it comes to building a truly sustainable collection?

Aleša Mižigoj: Sustainability is included in our corporate strategy in several ways.  It is divided into three main pillars: social, environmental, and economic.

We invest a lot in our employees, enabling them a pleasant working environment, developing human resources, and training them. We encourage them to be curious through various departments looking for new, greener ways of how to optimise and change our product, be it packaging, manufacture, raw materials that we use, recycling, etc. We care for their health and their general well-being by regularly giving them bundles of our own products. We include our employees in a supplementary insurance scheme and enable them quick access to doctors. We ensure a favourable position for women in the company. 70 percent of all employees are women, even in the highest positions. Medex is creating one of the highest added values in the food processing industry.

We are aware of our environmental responsibility, which is why we act in an economically rational and sustainable manner in this area also. We select sustainable and recyclable materials for the manufacture of products and reduce the consumption of natural resources and mixed waste. Our close connection to bees is the main inspiration for raising awareness about the importance of bees for the environment and us humans.

I myself am a proponent of sustainable management and a mindset of constant improvements. Each day we try to be better for people, the environment and society.

Diplomatist: Can you describe how the current coronavirus pandemic is impacting your business specifically, as well as more broadly how it is impacting commercial beekeepers and growers?   

Aleša Mižigoj: In the period of the pandemic, people were very concerned about their immunity and the demand for bee products was high. Propolis has also been proven to reduce hospital stays with Covid 19 infection from 12 to 6 days. 

Diplomatist: Can you share with us some of the things that you take into consideration when creating new products? How do you ensure your products are of quality?

Aleša Mižigoj: We have been building a bond of respect and trust for over 65 years with the innovation, tradition, quality, and safety of our products. Open and honest relationship not only with our customers but also with the wider environment in which we operate is our main goal.

All raw materials are analysed for safety and quality parameters, and we consequently ensure the safety of the final products. With the desire to provide the public with a transparent way of proving the virtue of our honey. With them, every consumer can check on our website: that our honey is verified, safe and with controlled quality.

All active ingredients are always standardized, and their values quarantined until the end of the shelf life of the products. When we create a new product, our main question is why someone would use this product and what value it gives to the consumer. Standardisation of these substances guarantees a constant content of key ingredients through the entire shelf life of the products, and consequently also guarantees their proven.

Diplomatist: How do you differentiate your organization, and how would you rate the intensity of your competition?

Aleša Mižigoj: We are a company with a long tradition in apitherapy and bee-based products, inspired by bee’s miraculous life and with values closely connected to them. We boast a continued quality of our products, and this is probably also why users trust us, they know that by using our products they will get guaranteed quality, and that is exactly why certain products remain in our permanent portfolio – because they are good, tasty, efficient and with impeccable quality. We are a trendsetter in apitherapy and always on the hunt for new trends on the market. Our own research and development enable us to quickly react to the needs of the market and we constantly evolve our assortment of products to fit the lifestyle of our consumers.

Diplomatist: What are your future plans, and do you see an exciting prospect for Medex in the Indian market?

Aleša Mižigoj: It is a plan to expand the “bee story” across the globe, including India. We believe with our knowledge and experience we can offer just the best to our customers and help them to reach & maintain the inner balance of their bodies. Our products are a perfect fit for pharmacy and drugstore chains and since everything have been just moving on the www, we see a huge potential in e-commerce as well.

Diplomatist: What advice do you have for budding entrepreneurs who are about to launch their venture? 

Believe in your dreams. Work hard and do not take shortcuts, never give up.

Kanchi Batra
Kanchi Batra is the Managing Editor of The Diplomatist.

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