MeliBio is giving bees a break from honey production. This Oakland, California company, headed by Serbian CEO Darko Mandich, has been in the vegconomist news feed regularly since early 2021 and is busy with its mission to provide a 1:1 replacement for bee-made honey.
After MeliBio’s initial raise, the company revealed what it claims to be the world’s first real honey made without bees as a plant-based ingredient for B2B customers and food service, in October of last year. In March of 2022, MeliBio secured a further $5.7 million to commercialize its first line of bee-free honey. Since then it has begun partnering with fine dining restaurants, including the world-famous Eleven Madison Park.
What is the story behind MeliBio?
MeliBio is creating a sustainable future for the $10 billion honey industry by giving bees a break from honey production.
We make this happen through a proprietary approach of turning plants into honey that made TIME’s Best Inventions 2021 list.
“MeliBio is creating a sustainable future for the $10 billion honey industry”
After spending almost a decade in the European honey industry with a track record of trading more than 10,000 tons of honey, I realized that my industry is unsustainable and that its reliance on honeybees as the sole medium of production is having a negative effect on wild and native bee species.
On top of that, the issues with climate change that causes lower yields of honey in recent honey crops paired with a complicated and broken supply chain and lack of quality control that allowed pesticides to be found in honey, I acknowledged that the industry is entirely broken and needs to be reimagined and reinvented. I was certain that my experience in the industry paired with my passion for sustainability will empower me to drive a change.
“the industry is entirely broken and needs to be reimagined and reinvented.”
In late 2020, I moved from Belgrade, Serbia to San Francisco and met Dr. Aaron Schaller, an American scientist, amateur chef and a sustainability enthusiast. We both realized that we make a strong founding team with complementary skills and knowledge, both passionate about bees, removing animals from food production and honey as a product. That’s how MeliBio was born.