Pardon Your Turkey!


Each Thanksgiving, the US president releases a turkey to mark a holiday that originated as a harvest festival. While it has evolved over time, Thanksgiving is still seen as a time to be thankful for what we have and to share a meal with friends and family. In a sense, many special occasions during the year – birthdays, Mother’s Day, Christmas – serve the same basic purpose of celebration and appreciation with friends and family.

In this spirit, we wanted to mark the new year by bringing the chocolate making team together and showing our appreciation for all the hard work that went into the first MIA bars.

We got together (virtually) with the Chocolate Maker, Shahin, to figure out what we could do to bring his team of 25 together and send them away with something that would enrich their celebration of the 2017 gone by and the beginning of a new year. While giving food can be tricky, we wanted to ensure that everyone would find the gift useful and that they could in turn save for something more personal.




Like US presidents, we definitely wanted to pardon the turkeys so we settled on staples of oil and sugar along with the all-time national favourite: rice. Rice is such a part of the diet that Madagascar is alleged to lead the world in per capita consumption. It’s such a part of their culinary culture that people often refer to a meal as “eating rice”. Of course, Madagascan people have all sorts of delicious accompaniments to serve with rice and many ways of preparing it. You could say it’s akin to shrimp for Forrest Gump… boiled rice, rice soup, rice bread, rice tea, and on and on.

Rice aside, the Madagascan people have an extremely rich culture of proverbs and an amazing talent for speech giving at all sorts of occasions. This chance to celebrate a successful year and a new partnership was no exception so naturally there was an energised and rich exchange among the team.



While it’s modest, we thought it important that our first 1 for Change initiative could serve as a gesture of appreciation and a boost to the community that helps make MIA possible. And we value the support from Chocolate Maker Shahin and managers Xavier and Michael for animating the occasion and taking the time and resources to make it happen!