The biggest buyer of fur in Australia is a private company called Coyote Fur Processing factory in Brisbane, which has been operating since 2009.
In its latest annual report to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Coyote said it processed more than 7.5 million fox fur samples for consumers, mainly in Queensland.
“Fox fur is the most widely used fur in the world,” said Coyote founder and CEO Steve Jones.
“It’s the highest-quality fur on the market.”
But the vast majority of fur sold in Australia comes from animals raised in China and Australia’s overseas fur farms.
Fox fur is processed in a facility owned by private Chinese company, the China Fur Industry Council.
But in a rare interview with The Australian Financial View in June, Mr Jones confirmed that Fox Fur Processing does not meet the standards of the Chinese government and was not subject to its strict export controls.
He said there was a “significant amount” of “fake fur” used in its products.
The company is not subject for export controls in Australia.
In 2016, the government issued a warning to the company that if it did not comply with the Chinese laws it would be subject to sanctions.
“If you don’t meet the regulations, we can impose sanctions,” the warning stated.
Mr Jones said it was not a case of a rogue company.
“We have no control over who makes their products in China,” he said.
“There’s no regulatory structure or anything.”
Mr Jones and his team are confident that Fox is still able to supply products that meet the requirements of the government, despite the concerns expressed by Chinese officials.
But they also acknowledge the challenges that come with a market that is rapidly expanding.
Fox Fur processing is now one of the largest animal-product processors in Australia, with processing capacity of about 12 million kilograms a year.
In 2015, Fox Fur processed about $1.5 billion worth of fur, more than three times its annual sales of $800,000.
“The market is growing at such a rate that it’s just going to get bigger,” said Mr Jones.