A South African citrus growers group hopes international attention on the World Cup soccer tournament will spark American shoppers to buy more of its summer citrus.

South African group links summer citrus recipes with World Cup

The Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum, Citrusdahl, South Africa, is introducing a recipe program that features navel oranges as the main or accompanying ingredient.

Joretha Geldenhuys, the citrus group’s chief executive officer, said South Africa’s hosting month-long 2010 FIFA World Cup has garnered a lot of U.S. attention.

“People are more aware of what is happening in South Africa,” she said. “The launch of these recipes will help especially with the World Cup going on. There should be good awareness.”

The first regular shiploads of South African citrus arrived at U.S. ports on June 22 and were sent to stores in early July.

Geldenhuys said the citrus producers forum expects to ship 12 vessels this season, up from nine last year.

The recipes were designed to offer shoppers a taste of South Africa and incorporate navel oranges from drinks to desserts.

Leaflets featuring a selection of the recipes will be distributed to consumers during in-store demonstrations throughout the U.S. this summer.

The organization has also started a Facebook page to encourage consumers to share comments and their own citrus recipes.

Recipes are at www.summercitrus.com.

South Africa’s citrus program starts in mid-July and normally runs through November.

The citrus group represents more than 350 South African growers of navels, star ruby grapefruit and clementines.