Product Registration Program
FOCIS developed the registration program in response to the demands from schools for assistance in deciding which foods and beverages to put on their menus. FOCIS believes that it is important to work closely with the food and beverage industry to encourage the development and registration of foods that meet the FOCIS Nutrient Criteria. The registration program makes it easier for schools to identify food and beverage products that meet dietary guidelines and government policy/guidelines. The FOCIS Product Registration program and Nutrient Criteria was first developed in 1998 and is reviewed every three years.
The FOCIS nutrient criteria was reviewed in 2016. FOCIS is pleased to provide a summary report.
Purpose of the FOCIS Nutrient Criteria
FOCIS encourages school canteens to stock a wide variety of tasty, nutritious foods and beverages that contribute to children’s growth and development. For specific advice about the government canteen policy/guidelines in Australia, food industry and canteen representatives are encouraged to contact their State or Territory Canteen Association or Network.
Many menu items are freshly prepared in canteens and managers need to be able source nutritious fresh ingredients to ensure that the prepared items meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines. FOCIS registers both fresh ingredient lines and commercial processed foods that must meet the Nutrient Criteria.
The purpose of the criteria is to enable the identification, registration and formulation of healthier products for the school canteen market.
The FOCIS registration program makes it easier for schools to stock and promote healthier choices of traditional convenience products, e.g. pastries, frankfurters, burger patties, formed vegetable products such as hash browns. Although these types of products may be considered more nutritional choices than their regular counterparts, the majority of them are ‘AMBER’ It is recommended their availability should be limited and that they should only supplement the menu choices, the majority of which should be derived from the core ‘GREEN’ foods.
Only products submitted to FOCIS have been assessed. There is no doubt that there are other foods available in the marketplace that meets the Nutrient Criteria. The assumption should not be made that a food that is not listed does not meet the criteria.
The Database and January 2020 FOCIS Buyers Guide are regularly updated on the website.