MIA ethical chocolate brand completes crowdfunding venture

Bean-to-bar chocolate company MIA (Made in Africa) has successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign, gaining £137,000 towards enhancing its production facilities in Madagascar.

The business exceeded its original target set on the Seedrs platform, having launched in the UK this January as an ethically-focused firm supporting local communities.

Its fundraising drive began in May and closed last month, and sought investment to increase production volumes and purchase new equipment for its Madagascan operations.

As the company explained, its long-term goal is to expand into additional categories of food including honey, coffee, and nut butters, trading to high ethical standards for an international market.

The company was established by a group of foodies with a shared passion for the African continent, its people, wildlife and natural ingredients, each and every MIA product is crafted from start to finish in Africa to give greater benefit back to local communities.

As the business explained, its distinctive “fair made” bars – which include a dark variety with hemp and almond flavour are now commercially available in 75g packs.
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 ensure the freshest ingredients and the unique flavours of the terroir.

The MIA brand is partnered with Proudly Made in Africa (PMIA) to ensure that products aren’t just made on the continent but are produced with as many locally sourced ingredients and materials as possible.

MIA co-founder Brett Beach said: “Crowdfunding has been a totally new experience to us but an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable one. We’re delighted to have hit our target and look forward to welcoming the new investors to the company and moving forward with our aggressive plans for growth.
“We’ve already connected with some investors who have expertise that can add value to MIA above the financial contribution, and we look forward to getting acquainted with others who can help their investment grow with their insights.”
“We’re passionate about producing the best quality chocolate and food products at the source in Africa, so it’s great to have the additional capital and some likeminded investors involved who share our beliefs.”

He added that the business had demonstrated that it was entirely possible that fine quality chocolate can be produced at source in Madagascar. In his opinion, this had a major benefit to local communities compared to simply selling ingredients, which he believed would ‘help change Africa for the better’.

The business is committed to a 1 for Change programme, which ensures that 1% of its sales are dedicated to development projects in places where a little goes a long way. This includes projects to help save local endangered species, or to improve a community’s livelihoods, the scheme is central to the brand’s philosophy.

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