The Founder of Plant for Peace – a global initiative helping countries crippled by conflict – by the creation of horticultural cooperatives.
James Brett's remarkable initiative was tailored to fathom one of Afghanistan's biggest challenges, James singlehandedly persuaded 22,000 farmers to stop growing opium poppies the source of much of the worlds heroin and start growing mulberries instead.
Cereal bars are now on sale in our supermarkets and for every product sold they plant another mulberry tree.
With an astonishing tenacity, Brett has convinced the entire farming community of Afghanistan to join Plant for Peace, as a positive alternative livelihood subject to necessary support.
But if he had never set foot in Afghanistan, never toured this troubled country without a bodyguard, badge, uniform or gun, his achievements would still be mind-boggling, because his life story is truly staggering.
It's a story that includes child abuse by his grandfather, the early tragic death of his mother, his consequent decline into drug addiction, homelessness, prison, betrayal, violence and mental illness. Ultimately it's a breath-taking story of recovery, hope, humility and remarkable vision supported by a cast of farmers, academics, multinational food companies, government officials, philanthropists, celebrities, military leaders, royal families and the entire nation of Afghanistan.
The 'fruits' of this initiative are a range of innovative products starting with pomegranites and currently using mulberries - they are on sale now in our supermarkets. For every product sale we plant a tree for you.
James shares his story in a searingly honest, deeply moving and ultimately inspiring 60 minute session. His audiences are as diverse as global leaders, prison inmates, the business world, and mental health patients.