In April 2015, as they were about to complete their master’s degree in Milan, Anisa, Eniada and Altin started to miss the traditional products they grew up with in Albania. At that moment, they realised how hard it was to access fresh, natural and homemade products in Italian and Albanian cities alike.
Indeed, although 24% of Albania’s territory comprises arable land, the country’s agricultural sector remains largely underdeveloped. In 2019, for example, agriculture merely contributed to 20% of Albania’s GDP, despite employing over 58% of the population. Since the beginning of the 21st century, Albania has also undergone a transformation in its population’s diet, with a shift towards more processed and industrialised products, as well as an accelerated process of urbanisation, leading to a decrease in cultivated land on the outskirts of cities.
MIA Organic (Made in Albania) was therefore created to tackle these challenges.
MIA Organic is a company that acts as both a production and distribution centre for fresh, local and organic agricultural products. The initiative has four main objectives: to offer fresh; organic and safe products from local producers, to cultivate its own prime food products; to maintain high-quality standards through a commitment to sustainable agriculture and to protect the ecosystem as a whole; and to create partnerships with local producers who meet MIA Organic’s quality standards while ensuring they receive a fair and equitable price. In that regard, MIA Organic is not merely a food production and food hub company, but also strives to promote environmental sustainability and social justice.
MIA Organic launched its activity online before creating a shop in the centre of Tirana. This model of expansion allowed it to gain visibility over the years. The company produces and offers a variety of products, which include but are not restricted to fruits and vegetables, animal products, alcohol and processed products.
This initiative benefited from the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as well as the European Union’s Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility (WB EDIF). Through grants, MIA Organic has been able to strengthen its position in the local market and ensure a high quality of products. More recently, MIA Organic has acquired the GLOBALG.A.P. certification, a global reference for good agricultural practices.
Today, MIA Organic is an institution that brings together people from all corners of Albania around common values and agricultural practices. Behind the success of MIA Organic, there are about fifteen employees, more than thirty producers from Tirana’s Metropolitan region as well as the rest of the country, and hundreds of consumers, who can now enjoy fresh, organic and safe food.
To improve the company’s waste management, a kitchen has been set up and offers homemade meals for lunch. This initiative has significantly reduced the amount of waste generated by agricultural production and allows MIA Organic to reuse parts of their products (e.g. “ugly” vegetables and leftovers).
This sheet was written by Camille Perigaud, an intern at Let’s Food in May 2023.
Last modification : 09 May 2023.
Production and distribution centre for fresh, local, organically grown products.