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ONE FOR ALL.

Byline: By Peter Robertson

It's a celebrity endorsement worth millions.

But believe it or not, Brad Pitt's 'designer' water is a trend we can all afford to follow.

Even better, One is Welsh H0, bottled at source in Mid Wales - and it's helping to save thousands of lives.

Produced by a British company on ethical grounds, every penny of profit goes into funding water projects in Africa.

The money goes to PlayPumps International, a not-for-profit organisation trying to bring clean water to 10 million people in Africa by 2010. The pumps are roundabouts built on top of bore holes which rely on the energy of children and simplistic engineering to power them.

It is the brainchild of former marketing whizz-kid Duncan Goose, big brother of Casualty actress Claire. The 38-year-old raises a fortune yet lives on an annual salary of only pounds 6,000 in return for toiling seven days a week late into the night.

Duncan's story was triggered by an intended act of pure self-indulgence - he fulfilled a life-long ambition to ride a motorbike around the world between 1998 and 2000.

Speaking this week when the UN marked World Water Day, Duncan explained how it opened his eyes.

'Two particular experiences were to change my view of the world and how a little bit of support can drastically improve people's lives forever,' he said. 'I was caught in the middle of Hurricane Mitch which decimated Honduras, killed over 30,000 people and did $4bn worth of damage. Although I did a bit of 'on-the-spot' relief work such as digging houses out of mudslides, it was a fund-raising programme I set up with some other travellers that made the difference. The money we raised was earmarked to help re-build the village we were in, but so much money was raised that it went on to rebuild 13 villages. The second experience was being welcomed into a small village community in the Peruvian Andes near Machu Picchu. Although incredibly poor, their generosity was overwhelming and I have continued to support the village including the building of 30 toilets and providing educational materials and clothing. I was recently made an official 'godfather' to 150 children there!'

Then in 2003, he was spurred into action on this venture after learning 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water. One water was born.

So a year later, he quit his high-powered marketing job to work full-time on getting the project off the ground.

'It wasn't easy, but with the support of friends, progress was made,' he explained.

They decided to name the bottled water in accordance with the saying 'You can't change the world overnight, but you can change it one person, one day at a time'.

And One became a reality when the first bottles rolled off the Radnor Hills production line on May 30, 2005, in Heartsease in Powys.

But his big break came providing the official water for the Live 8 concerts in 2005.

'Uninvited, I pitched up at Bob Geldof's London offices, handed over crates of One saying, 'Here's the official drink for Live8' and fled. I then did the same at promoter Harvey Goldsmith's office, and then writer/organiser Richard Curtis'. I think because I said it with a bit of authority and cheek, I got away with it. To my amazement, One did indeed become the official drink of Live8 - I even have a photo of Brad Pitt holding a bottle of it at the event - and The Brits this year,' he said.

It took another year for the product to hit the supermarket shelves. Now Co-op, Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and Total garages stock it for around 45p for 500ml, roughly the same price as Evian and Highland Spring. It's also for sale on all UK university campuses and Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Aberdeen airports.

Duncan has lofty aims for One. 'I want this to be a pounds 100m company by 2020. I always thought it should be a company selling like for like. It will not just be water but other products as well, such as condoms to combat HIV or soap to tackle sanitation. If we can introduce one or two new products a year which will change lives then you should just get out there and do it - why wouldn't you?'

The company funds one PlayPump every 14 days and aims to reach one a day in two years' time. Putting it simply, Duncan said: 'If on one day, everybody in the UK who normally buys bottled water - 26.5 million people - bought One water, that would pay for 374 pumps and help 935,000 people.'
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 25, 2007
Words:775
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