In January 2019 Ethical Consumer viewed Bella Italia's website, www.bellaitalia.co.uk. The company's menu listed a number of dishes containing cheese, chicken, pork, beef, squid, duck, lamb, prawns and free range eggs. With the exception of eggs, no animal products were labelled organic or free range. Ethical Consumer therefore assumed them to be factory farmed animals and as a result Bella Italia lost a whole mark under Animal Rights and under Factory Farming.
In addition, in March 2015 the British government website www.food.gov.uk stated that the EU animal feed industry imported 70% of its maize, soya and rapeseed requirements; that "almost all" of the soya from the major producers Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and the USA was genetically modified and that "much of" the maize imported from the USA was genetically modified. Therefore, due to the prevalence of genetically modified animal feed on the market in non-organic certified dairy and meat it was probable that ingredients used by Bella Italia were derived from animals fed genetically modified feed.
In an email response in March 2017 the company stated, "CDG understands the prevalence of GM soya and maize in animal feed and requires all suppliers to ensure that wherever possible this is not used in our supply chain." However there was no evidence of whether suppliers complied with this and the use of 'wherever possible' implied that it was not strictly enforced. The FAQ section of the website, viewed in January 2019, stated 'None of our menus contain genetically modified ingredients.' However, no mention of GM animal feed was made. The company therefore lost half a mark under Controversial Technologies.
www.bellaitalia.co.uk (15 January 2019)