MIA keeps chocolate production local on Madagascar, despite global pandemic

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

MIA's cocoa farmers on Madagascar. Pic: MIA
MIA's cocoa farmers on Madagascar. Pic: MIA

Related tags Madagascar

MIA, the bean-to-bar ethical chocolate company, reinforced its African roots despite COVID-19 challenges by maintaining production at its facility on Madagascar.

According to MIA, short for Made In Africa, chocolate production created four times more revenue than the value of raw cocoa while supporting 18 full-time jobs and sustainable agriculture that preserved more than 4,900 trees in Madagascar.

Impact report

The brand’s impact report for 2020 showed MIA’s activities also addressed eight United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and earned it a place in the top three of Ethical Consumer’s review of 47 chocolate brands.

MIA co-founder Brett Beach said: “Excluded from the chocolate market for much of recent history, Africa grows 70% of the world’s cocoa but does not even benefit from 1% of value-added chocolate production. Fairtrade agriculture is an important element of development – MIA pays 30% over fair trade cocoa prices – but all the wealthy nations in the world are proof that farming alone will not lift a nation out of poverty.

Africa needs to make products to enjoy the general prosperity that Western nations have built since the Industrial Revolution​.”

In the world of chocolate confectionery, MIA is proving that it is possible to support farmers and skilled jobs in Africa while delivering award-winning chocolates to consumers around the world​.”

Development projects

In addition to the commitment to make every product from start to finish in Africa, MIA sets aside 1% of sales to support development projects on the continent under its 1 for Change programme.

So far, the programme has created a Girls’ Education Fund to promote equality for women, helped combat COVID-19, provided famine relief and supported reforestation in a national park that is home to endemic lemurs and an important resource for local communities.

MIA said its future plans include the support of adult literacy with its 1 for Change programme and confirmed it will increase its added value to five times cocoa export by sourcing additional materials locally in Madagascar.

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