The history behind Sharpes Stockfeed.

Sharpes has been in business for more than 120 years.

Our rich history is part of the fabric of the business, and we are proud to have innovated and adapted with the times. We strive to set the bar when it comes to the best quality products, consistently, and meet the ever-changing needs of our customers.



Founded by John Sharpe in Petone in 1899, the business was built around the needs of the small farmers and particularly horse-drawn transport in the Hutt Valley.

In 1937, Alan Orsborn (Alastair’s father) bought the business and, to this day, Sharpes is still owned and operated by the Orsborn family.

In the 1950s there were major changes in the feeding of intensive livestock, especially poultry and pigs. Sharpes developed with these changes and is today manufacturing nutritionally balanced rations for all farm livestock. Poultry feeds for egg-laying birds remain the core element of the business.

Farming was the only career Alastair wanted to pursue and on leaving school in 1962, he worked in sheep and beef farming prior to going to Massey University. A few seasons of shearing and farm management preceded Alastair and Nicky’s move to the Wairarapa onto the farm where the Sharpes Stockfeed business was built, from very simple beginnings in 1974. The first feed from the Carterton mill was produced in 1975 and the mill operation in Lower Hutt finally closed in the early ’80s. Alastair bought his brother’s share in 2001 and nervously went it alone.


Relocation and expansion

  • 1980 Sharpes Feedmill relocated its manufacturing operation from Lower Hutt to rural Wairarapa, where much of the grain used in the manufacturing process is grown.

  • 1991 a computerised batching plant was installed, which greatly increased our ability to produce rations that reflected the needs of intensive livestock farming.

  • 2006 saw another major plant upgrade took place, with the installation of a second production line. This gives Sharpes Stock Feeds the ability to manufacture feeds for monogastric animals, e.g. pig, poultry and ruminant animals on completely separate production lines.

  • 2009, Alastair and Nicky’s daughter in-law, Sara Orsborn, came on board as the Marketing & Sales Manager for Sharpes Stock Feeds. The business grew into supplying volumes outside the Wairarapa region.

  • 2010 the project was undertaken to redesign all the product bags to give them a smarter look. All bagged product is now in these newly designed bags.

  • 2013, Alastair and Nicky’s son Sam with his wife (Sara) and three children moved into the family home located right next to the Sharpes Stock Feeds mill. Sam and Sara, alongside Sam’s father Alastair, are now managing the family business.

  • 2019, we undertook a significant building project, including sheds and a new office space.

  • 2020, imported from Italy, our state-of-the-art bagging line was installed, reducing labour and further ensuring the accuracy and quality of our product, every time. We also moved to biodegradable bags for our 10kg poultry feed. These bags are made from recycled paper and cotton thread, and plan to roll this out over the other 10kg product range in time.

  • 2021, we unveiled out fresh new look and the introduction of a new name on our packaging, Sharpes Farm Feeds, to reflect the fact we are growing grain on-farm where the mill is situated, as well as sourcing it from local farms. The business name remains Sharpes Stock Feeds. We are also moving our 25kg bags down to a 20kg size, in line with the best health and safety practice for our customers.


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