Updated 15 minutes ago
PHOTO: Part proceeds from the sale of the mango boxes would have gone to the Dogs Refuge Home and the Cat Haven. (Matt Brann)
A shortage of mangoes in Western Australia's far north has forced Perth charities to refund hundreds of people who purchased boxes of the fruit as part of a fundraiser.
The Dogs Refuge Home and the Cat Haven have begun refunding people who pre-purchased a 10-kilogram box of mangoes for $40.
The mangoes were supposed to come directly from Kununurra growers, with part proceeds from every purchase donated to the charity.
But the fundraiser was cancelled due to a lack of available mangoes.
WA Department of Agriculture and Food industry officer Peter Johnson said it was a "strange" year for mango production.
"We've pretty much had two crops this year - there was an early one back in September, early October, and then there's going to be a bit of late fruit coming in mid-November - and not a lot in between," he said.
He said the cause was climatic.
"We had a little bit of an above average dry season temperature wise," Mr Johnson said.
"We had an early cool snap in May which instigated the first flowering and then it wasn't until late July that we got another flowering.
"Consequently we've ended up with two quite distinct crops on the same tree.
"It means interrupted supply of fruit, which means that there's going to be periods of time where the mangoes are going to be a bit scarce and expensive.
"Then you'll find later on in the season that there will be more product coming through."
Fundraiser was expected to make up to $7,000
Mr Johnson said prices were high at the moment because farmers were in the middle of a lull.
"In a normal season, by the end of October you will start to see the prices come down quite dramatically," he said.
Dogs Refuge Home volunteer Lee-Anne Ashley said the fundraiser had raised up to $7,500 in previous years.
"This year we were hoping to make between $5,000 and $7,000 and all the money we raise goes towards helping the dogs that we care for," she said.
"This year it's just been really unfortunate that we suddenly found out on the weekend that the fundraiser had been cancelled at short notice and that we wouldn't be getting any mangoes.
"So unfortunately there is a cost to us in the processing fees on the internet site that we use.
"We had over 250 different people who purchased boxes and I've ... had to email them all and kindly a lot of them have said 'keep my donation'.
"But I would have much rather had $5,000 to put in the kitty. With Christmas coming it's a busy time for us so all the money we can raise just helps us do more for the dogs that are in our care."