THE Winchester Millennium Egg has been awarded to Charles Barter of The Watercress Company.
The egg is Winchester’s equivalent to the Lifetime Achievement Oscar for the local economy.
It is awarded every year to local people and organisations who have made a significant and sustained business contribution.
Robert Humby, the city council leader, said: “We are delighted this year to be giving the prestigious Millennium Egg to Charles Barter, a director of The Watercress Company.
“He has been integral to making the annual watercress festival in Alresford the success it is today, and in promoting locally-grown watercress as a superfood.  This reinforces the importance of our rural economy to Winchester.”
Mr Barter has been involved with Hampshire-based watercress farms since the 1970s, including the development of equipment to make harvesting and production more efficient.
He is part of the team who bring the Watercress Festival to Alresford each year, this year attracting 15,000 visitors.
Mr Barter said: “Being awarded this prestigious egg in recognition of my contribution to the local economy is a great honour.  I have a strong belief in the work we do, and by promoting watercress with its unique properties we will continue to help enrich the local economy of Alresford, and of Hampshire and Dorset more widely.”
The egg was crafted by Jeremy France Jewellers in 2000, who then donated it to the city council for use as an annual award.
Previous award winners have included the late Graham Jameson of the Wykeham Arms, Barbara Bryant who headed up the North Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry for many years, Hampshire Farmers’ Market, Hat Fair, Winchester Cathedral, Mohamed Bakhaty, Chris Turner of the Winchester Business Improvement District, Jim Sawyer of London and Clancy, Richard Steel of Richard Steel and Partners and last year to Tim Jackson, principal at Sparsholt College.
It is displayed throughout the year with a collection of civic silver at the Guildhall.
The egg was presented at the Winchester Business Excellence Awards 2014 held at the Guildhall.