MIA chocolate is made start to finish in Africa with a purpose. The MIA approach means paying cocoa farmers more than Fairtrade and supporting skilled jobs in chocolate making to create more prosperity in Africa. 

MIA impact is only possible thanks to the people in the communities of Ghana and Madagascar who work hard to make delicious chocolate.

Cocoa Farming

Independent farmers in Ghana and Madagascar control the full cocoa process, from cultivation to fermentation to sun drying.

Farmers who ferment and dry their own beans can ensure a high cocoa quality. They also get more value for their crop, compared to farmers who sell wet cocoa beans to collectors.

Farmers who grow cocoa for MIA chocolate in Ghana and Madagascar take exceptional care at every stage, to ensure that every MIA product tastes as good as it feels.

  • FAIR+

    Stephen is President of the ABOCFA farmer cooperative in Suhum, Ghana. Certified Fairtrade and organic, ABOCFA supplies cocoa beans for Ghana Gold. In exchange, MIA pays ABOCFA 150% of the Fairtrade premium and supports members with 1 for Change projects.


    Abigail, ABOCFA member & farmer coach, cracks pods to prepare the cocoa beans for fermentation, the first step in the curing process. Farmers in Ghana and Madagascar cure their own beans, allowing them to earn more from their crops.


    Reaching temperatures of up to 50° C, fermentation develops the flavour precursors to chocolate.


    Dried under the tropical sun, cocoa beans are constantly turned to ensure they reach a uniform humidity content of 8%. Sun drying develops flavour, protects the beans in storage and facilitates the work of the cocoa roaster. 


    Thanks to organic forests, farmers in Ghana and Madagascar can grow food crops amongst their cocoa trees, making their farms a “fridge” and a cash crop. Farmers also rely on the forest as a source of medicinal plants.


    Madagascar is blessed with a high percentage of Trinitario cocoa, known for pleasing red fruit notes. The flavour of Madagascan cocoa has earned 100% of the country’s crop the fine flavour classification from the International Cocoa Organization, which is awarded to the top 10% of production globally.

Chocolate Making

Since chocolate was invented, the lion’s share of production has benefited wealthy countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Communities in Africa grow 70% of the world’s cocoa yet only 1% of the world’s value-added chocolate bars are made on the continent. MIA is helping to change this by making award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate with partners in Ghana and Madagascar.


    When beans arrive at the factory, they are checked for proper drying, flavour and cleanliness. Xavier, Quality Control Manager at the factory in the highlands of Madagascar, inspects a sample of beans from the Sambirano Valley in the northwest.


    Cocoa beans are sorted individually to remove any foreign material and sort the beans by size. This ensures a uniform roasting process. About 75 cocoa beans make a chocolate bar.


    Roasting is the first step of the chocolate making process and develops the flavours that will be become silky smooth chocolate.


    Roasted cocoa beans are ground into a coarse powder before they are combined with other ingredients and refined into liquid chocolate.


    After more than ten different steps — from roasting and grinding to tempering and moulding — chocolate bars are formed. Historically controlled by massive companies in the Northern Hemisphere, MIA is living proof that communities in Africa can produce delicious chocolate that creates more prosperity in Africa.


    Based in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Shahin is the master chocolate maker who produces our Madagascan range with his dedicated team. Thanks to Shahin’s knowledge and his team’s skills, MIA Madagascar has won 5 Great Taste Awards. Read Shahin’s story here.

Meet the people behind MIA in Africa

It takes a village to make food with thought!

At MIA, we work every day with teams in Ghana and Madagascar to bring you delicious chocolate. These women and men include cocoa growers and chocolate makers, of course — but they are also researchers, digital storytellers, drivers, guesthouse managers, and more.

Here we share stories of our ongoing collaborators in Africa, and of the people we have met maybe only once, but who made an impact on MIA.


    Meet Benjamin. He’s a talented young man studying French literature from his home country of Ghana. An enthusiastic storyteller, Benjamin also has a keen eye for social media. He supports MIA on the ground by sharing cocoa farmers’ stories and identifying how we can support community development projects.


    MIA co-founder Brett (right) met Richard (left) on his first day in Ghana, a country he visited for the first time in 2022 to set up Ghana Gold. A former truck driver who turned to the taxi business to make ends meet, Richard proved extremely dependable through rain and shine, making the MIA introduction to Ghana all the sweeter.


    Elie lives in Ambanja, the town at the centre of the cocoa region in northwest Madagascar. Expert in cocoa curing, Elie supports MIA cocoa farmer partners to ensure their crops are as flavourful as possible.


    Josia has been roasting cocoa for over a decade, and it’s in large part thanks to his hard work that MIA Madagascar has won a number of Great Taste Awards. See Josia’s story here.


    Author of Cocoa and a thought leader in the industry, Kristy called Ghana home for four years, conducting cocoa farm fieldwork and getting to know the landscape like few other outsiders. Kristy brought her knowledge and passion to the development of Ghana Gold by connecting MIA with cocoa farmers, craft chocolate makers and more.


    Africa is blessed with resourceful, talented and resilient people, and this is just what it takes to overcome some of the obstacles that come between cocoa beans and chocolate bars. This picture, taken on the road to the Upper Sambirano Valley in Madagascar, is symbolic of the many river crossings, breakdowns and unexpected surprises that we have experienced at MIA.

1 for Change

The MIA 1 for Change development fund was created to make impact beyond the chocolate supply chain in Africa. Supported by a portion of MIA sales, 1 for Change projects help improve community livelihoods, protect a local endangered species or create a healthier environment.


    When we learned that students at the Mahitsy school near the capital of Madagascar did not have anywhere to prepare their lunches, we partnered with UK charity Money for Madagascar to build a school kitchen. Providing a nutritious meal at school keeps the students healthy and helps them concentrate on their studies. See the story here.


    The gift of literacy is crucial to fully participate in society and support a child’s education. This is why MIA supported an adult literacy programme for 20 parents of students at the Mahitsy primary school in the highlands of Madagascar.


    MIA partnered with UK charity Move the World to support Zero Hunger courses that facilitators delivered to school children in Medie, Ghana. Students learned about food supply chains and nurtured plants to get them more engaged in their community and more knowledgeable about global food issues.


    Each year, MIA offsets transport carbon by planting trees in the forest corridor in one of Madagascar’s national parks. In addition to carbon sequestration, the tree planting initiative extends lemur ecosystems and benefits local communities with fruit trees, school education programmes and incentives to protect their forests. Read more here.


    Many students can’t attend secondary school because their parents can’t afford books and uniforms. MIA worked to change this by sponsoring fruit tree scholarships for primary school students. By the time the students reach secondary school, their families can sell part of the fruit to support school fees and use the rest to improve nutrition.


    MIA created the Girls Education Fund to help families keep their daughters in school and fulfill their potential.The Girls Education Fund is a perennial programme that supports high school and university students by paying school fees, providing a nutritious lunch and covering health care. Read more here.