Crocodile by t0mweb via Flickr
Beef (ribeye, porterhouse, t-bone) ~ $10-15/lb
Crocodile meat (cajungrocer) ~ $16/lb
Average cow 6-7 ft high/1,300-1500lbs
Average crocodile 17 ft long/1,000 lbs
Leather bag = $800 – $3000
Croco bag = starting about $20,000
What gives? Why does croco cost so much? Should I start raising crocodiles? Is there a crocodile cartel keeping prices high? I wanted to do an investigative report on the seemingly exorbitant price of crocodiles bags, but Bloomberg business has an excellent video explaining why. The main reason it appears is that Crocodiles are raised almost exclusively for skins, whereas leather is largely a byproduct of the beef industry. Crocodiles are also difficult to farm – farmers need to provide a stress-free environment otherwise they will bite each other, damaging their precious skin. (distressed Brikin croc, anyone?) Finally, crocodile tanning is labor intensive, done by hand to the specifications of the designer/brand.
In the Bloomberg video, Stefan van As, the owner of the crocodile breeding farm, mentions that he probably wouldn’t have entered the business if he knew how difficult it was. Sounds like he’s just trying to discourage competitors. Nice try, Stefan. You’re just doing wrong. These crocodiles need to be domesticated. Remove their Medulla Oblongata, or their teeth.