Fashion houses buy up Australian crocodile farms

Sydney, April 23 (IANS) International fashion houses are snapping up crocodile farms in Australia to meet demand for accessories made from crocodile skins, media reported Tuesday.

There are 14 commercial crocodile farms in Australia, exporting about $20 million worth of crocodile skins each year, reported Xinhua.

Up to 10 percent of the world’s crocodile leather goods are made from Australian saltwater crocodile skins, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Crocodile farmer John Lever from Rockhampton in central Queensland told ABC that he was approached at least once a month by international fashion houses wanting to buy his crocodile farm.

“They want the guarantee of getting the skins so they’re buying into the farms as well,” he said.

“A cartel of buyers could form a monopoly and control the price of the skins,” he said.

Crocodile farmers are concerned about losing their ability to set prices.

According to business consultant Jeff McClure, Louis Vuitton has bought a crocodile farm in far north Queensland, while Hermes has snapped up one in the state’s Cairns and two in the Northern Territory.

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