Unlike 99% of chocolate that is made in wealthy nations, MIA makes chocolate in Africa – the world’s poorest continent – to provide sustainable jobs, transfer skills and create four times more revenue than the export of raw cocoa.

In 2019, MIA production addressed eight United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, supported 15 full-time jobs and protected over 5,000 trees in Madagascar.

The MIA ‘1 for Change’ impact programme committed to ‘MIA Green’ to offset CO2 with a tree planting programme and created a ‘Fruit Tree Scholarship’ fund to facilitate secondary school education for vulnerable students.

MIA works with a variety of suppliers in Africa to make products locally. The purpose is to unite a network of the best supply partners around the production of delicious products and to support their businesses in the process.

 

 

The chocolate making team is at the heart of the Made-In-Africa business model that creates value-added products to improve livelihoods. Beyond the production team, each batch of MIA made in Madagascar also benefits the communities that provide the ingredients, materials and services to transform fine flavour cocoa into delicious chocolate.

 

 

Below is a summary of the the social benefit enjoyed by the communities that form a network of 14 local supply partners.

 

 

The fourth largest island in the world, Madagascar’s flora and fauna evolved in isolation for millions of years. As a result, the island nation is home to 15% of the world’s species and 80% of all plants and animals found in Madagascar are endemic. Creating sustainable livelihoods that protect the environment while providing local communities with jobs is crucial to save the unique species that live in Madagascar.

Cocoa trees are beneficial for the environment as they form forests and require a shade canopy from a second layer of hardwood trees. These forests form ecosystems for indigenous plants and animals.

 

 

The Sambirano Valley is in Northwest Madagascar, just outside the cocoa capital Ambanja. The Sambirano River extends from the mountainous Upper Valley that lemurs call home to the coastal Lower Valley with rich mangroves forests.

 

 

The Upper Valley is also home to the Tsaratanana Nature Reserve, a park under the highest protected status due to its unique flora and fauna.

Protecting the environment with sustainable livelihoods is crucial to safeguarding the region’s rich natural resources and providing local communities with alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture. 

 

 

In addition to the benefits of value-added chocolate production, MIA dedicates 1% of sales to the ‘1 for Change’ social development programme that can either help protect a local endangered species, create a healthier environment or improve a community’s livelihoods.

 

 

Projects completed in our first two years of trading include a school kitchen for better nutrition, fruit tree scholarships to support secondary education and a reforestation programme to offset CO2, provide environmental education and protect lemurs. The school kitchen benefits 272 students, 50 fruit trees scholarships were awarded and 60 trees were planted to offset CO2.

 

 

MIA is the work of many. In addition to extending our appreciation to our supply partners in Africa, we want to thank the rest of you who make the MIA vision possible.

Customers are creating positive change in Africa with their purchases of MIA at retailers around the world, and it’s thanks to the shared passion of investors, suppliers, distributors and everyone in between that we have the opportunity to bring MIA to market and tell the Made-In-Africa story.

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You can download the full PDF 2019 Impact Report here: https://we.tl/t-ToEtMy30YV

 

MIA sets a new milestone for Made-In-Africa products by taking home three coveted Great Taste Awards this year, bringing the brand total to four.

Organised by the Guild of Fine Foods leading up to the Speciality & Fine Food Fair in London, the Great Taste Awards are widely recognised and often used by retailers to qualify new brands. Award winners are divided into three rankings: 1-, 2- and 3-star.

With nearly 13,000 entries, only 1,500 products received the 2- or 3-star ranking: MIA received three 2019 Great Taste Awards, including two with 2-star ranking:

Baobab & Salted Nibs — 2-star Award: “A well balanced acidity… a lovely crunch and citrussy note… quite fascinating bursts of flavour: sweet, salty savoury and fruity…”

75% Dark Chocolate — 2-star Award: “The melt is smooth and clean and there is a fine texture…. rounded mix of dark berry-ish tones with brighter refreshing notes… keeps a delicious flavour on the palate which is clean and rich.”

100% Cocoa — 1-star Award: “Intense dark chocolate with fruit on the nose. The flavour is long and the fruity element comes through…”

Thanks to the cocoa farmers, chocolate making team, supply partners and customers for helping MIA achieve so much in such a short time! If you want to share the success with friends and family, MIA is available in the UK at Whole Foods Market in London and online via Cocoa Runners and Amazon for shipment worldwide.

Cocoa Runners: www.cocoarunners.com/?post_type=product&s=mia

Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk

Following our collaboration earlier this year for Valentine’s Day, we’re incredibly excited to be back at Hammer & Tongs. With a shared passion for Africa and delicious food, Hammer & Tongs is a perfect partner for MIA. This time, we’re collaborating on a year-round vegan Coconut Mint Chocolate Truffle.

Created by talented chef Rodrigo Navarro using the new ‘MIA for Chefs’ chocolate drops, the truffles are rich and silky with the tropical taste of coconut balanced by a minty coolness and the nuanced flavours of Madagascan cocoa.  

Rodrigo at work at Hammer & Tongs

Starting in September, all Hammer & Tongs guests will receive a complimentary truffle at the end of the meal.  The truffles will also be exclusively offered at Taste of London Festive this November. 

Bringing the famous South African braai to London since launch in 2016, Hammer & Tongs is passionate about materials and ingredients. One example is the decision to import a special wood from southern Africa to give the braai a special flavour while helping game reserves protect their land against an invasive species called sekelbos.

Head Chef Rodrigo Navarro:

“We look at every ingredient we use from many angles: how it tastes, where it comes from, how it was produced, how it is packaged and its impact on the environment. All these considerations are vital to our dishes, our business and important to our customers, so we’re delighted to collaborate with MIA on our new Coconut Mint Chocolate Truffle.  The quality of the chocolate is fabulous, offering absolute provenance and a great opportunity to do some good in Africa with every order we make.”

The collaboration with Hammer & Tongs is part of MIA’s new strategy to target the foodservice sector and the growing number of innovative chefs who are putting greater importance on quality, ingredient provenance, sustainability and social impact.

MIA baking drops (3g) are easy to measure and melt

A new ‘MIA for Chefs’ catering pack is now available in 5-kg bags of 65% dark chocolate specifically made for bakers, chefs and chocolatiers. Those interested in receiving further product information enquire at hello@miafoodie.com.

About Hammer & Tongs

Inspired by a love of traditional South African braai, Hammer & Tongs offers juicy, tender and smoky cuts of meat cooked over wood.

Braai (rhymes with try) is quintessential South African barbecue. Hammer & Tongs only ever cooks with sekelbos (sickle bush) wood imported from Namibia. Sekelbos smoke married with beef, pork, vegetables or fish creates a whole new dining experience and depth of flavour.

South Africans have been braai-ing for thousands of years and over the centuries the flavours have evolved thanks to the diverse culinary influences brought by the many settlers. What has always remained the same is the simplicity of braai and the skill of cooking over woodfires.

The unforgettable flavours experienced at Hammer & Tongs warm the soul. The beer bread, marinades and chutneys are all homemade and inspired by the tastes of the Karoo and Stellenbosch regions of South Africa. Hammer & Tongs source only the highest quality, local, seasonal ingredients. All meat is British free-range and the fish is from sustainable sources.

More at www.hammertongs.co.uk/.