International fashion houses are snapping up Australian crocodile farms to feed demand for accessories made from the reptiles' skins, a farmer says.
Lillian Lever, who owns Koorana Crocodile Farm near Rockhampton, is approached at least once a month by international fashion houses wanting to buy her farm, which exports saltwater crocodile skins.
She says five farms have been bought over the past year in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
"What's going to happen is that they're going to be able to set the prices,'' she said.
"It will turn into a monopoly.''
She said because croc farms are so expensive and take so long to establish there is only a small pool of companies that can afford to purchase them.
The bulk of her croc skins are exported to Europe.
There are 14 commercial croc farms in Australia, exporting about $20 million worth of crocodile skins each year.
Lever said Louis Vuitton has bought a farm in Innisfail in far north Queensland, while Hermes has brought one in Cairns and two others in the Northern Territory.