Sharon Kirk

Sharon Kirk

Director and international sales and marketing

A founding director, inaugural CEO (2020-2024) and shareholder, Sharon is a leading New Zealand fresh produce marketing and export professional with more than 30 years’ experience in exporting and marketing New Zealand cherries, among other fruit.

Sharon and orchardist husband Ross Kirk - also founders of Hortinvest Limited in 2016 - began what is now the Deep Creek Fruits project in late 2018 when they ordered the first trees after negotiating with landowners seeking to diversify their land use. The official establishment followed in 2020. Over the first four years of its development, Sharon and Ross instigated and managed several significant capital raise campaigns which garnered a large shareholder group. Together they grew the business to the point where international sales and marketing, which is Sharon's primary passion, now has her full attention.

Sharon’s boundless energy and commitment for developing New Zealand’s cherry industry has seen her develop an extensive network of global markets as a rising middle class in Asia drives an insatiable appetite for luxury New Zealand food products while other exciting markets emerge in Europe and the United States.

She develops the export compliance systems necessary to send high volumes of cherries to the world and oversees the development of effective branding and packaging to appeal to target markets.

Sharon’s background as a horticulturalist is a rare commodity among fresh produce marketing executives, providing her with an authentic and informed perspective into crop specifics to communicate to customers throughout the growing season. 

Sharon’s career includes 13 years with export marketer Turners and Growers and 18 years running her export business, Southern Kowhai Exports. She has also contracted to multiple leading New Zealand fresh produce companies, to develop their export and marketing functions, including applying her expert understanding of global clients’ needs to oversee the design and production of effective packaging and marketing materials.

Sharon has a Bachelor’s degree in Horticultural Science and Marketing from Massey University and a Diploma in Management from the Institute of Management and has attended various leadership, management and directorial courses. She was appointed in March 2020 and is based in Wanaka.