– Chocolate brand MIA, short for Made In Africa, commits £500 of its 1 for Change impact fund to support MfM to reach more communities in Madagascar. To assist communities threatened by COVID-19, funds from MIA will help MfM to set up handwashing stations, back local production of face masks and finance free food for vulnerable families.
According to a recent BBC report, Africa has thus far avoided the devastation that COVID-19 has reaped on other parts of the world but the continent faces the risk of serious economic impact. For their part, fair trade CEOs have already called on the G20 Group to support cocoa farmers in developing countries from the worst effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
MIA, a challenger brand with a range of chocolates made bean-to-bar in Madagascar to create more value for local communities, wants to help fight the coronavirus at this relatively early stage when interventions can have the biggest impact. The brand is responding to urgent warnings like the one issued by the British Ambassador to Madagascar, Phil Boyle, who warned in early April that, “The island has minimal health infrastructure, with 10 doctors for every 100,000 people…. If developed countries don’t step up, the humanitarian consequences could be considerable.”
MIA Co-founder Sarah Lescrauwaet explains the project to combat COVID-19: “Africa is the poorest continent in the world and most countries do not have even a fraction of the health and social security means that we have in Europe. In Africa, people have to do their shopping at outdoor markets and many live day-to-day, so stocking up on essential food items is impossible. Needless to say, Amazon home deliveries are not an option. Worse yet, many vulnerable families find themselves sacrificing daily meals because they cannot earn their daily wages.
It’s great that Money for Madagascar and its partners in Madagascar are taking initiative. We’re proud to support their work. Women who are unemployed due to COVID-19 now have jobs making masks, and these same masks will protect first line responders. Additionally, handwashing stations will be set up outside markets to reduce the likelihood of infection where human contact is unavoidable for purchase of staple foods.”
Money for Madagascar also supports vulnerable families who are struggling to feed their children, since the school canteens were forced to close.
Sarah: “We know that the COVID-19 problem is bigger than any single effort but we believe that working together we can make a real difference to people in need, and this is exactly why we created the 1 for Change impact fund when we launched MIA. If bigger brands with significantly more revenue also step up to do their part then we can make a big impact in producer countries!”
Set up by a group of foodies with a shared passion for the African continent, its people, wildlife and natural ingredients, MIA, short for Made In Africa, is different for its ability to deliver delicious tasting and beautiful products that are entirely crafted in Africa.
With 65% of the world’s cocoa coming from Africa but less than 1% of chocolate actually made there, MIA is out to change this shocking status quo on the world’s poorest continent. The entire bean-to-bar chocolate making process – including the roasting, shelling, grinding, tempering and even packaging – takes place under one roof in Madagascar to utilise the freshest and best ingredients. By doing this, MIA also brings three more benefit to local communities in Africa (vs. export of cocoa).
The MIA brand is partnered with Proudly Made in Africa (PMIA) to ensure that products aren’t just made on the African continent but are ethically produced with as many locally sourced ingredients and materials as possible. The MIA supply chain is audited according to the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code. MIA is committed to a 1 for Change programme which ensures that 1% of all MIA sales are dedicated to development projects in places where a little goes a long way. Whether
it’s projects to help save local endangered species or to improve a community’s livelihoods, the program is central to the brand’s philosophy. MIA is accredited vegan by the UK-based Vegetarian Society.