The Country Life ecological centre has been operating in Nenačovice near Beroun since 2003. Ecocentre includes a company headquarters, a sample store, an organic bakery, an organic farm and a packing centre, and until recently also a wholesale warehouse. The eco-centre was created by rebuilding the former cowshed into a low-energy building and adding a new part, the so-called Ark, which has the parameters of a passive house. It is the first passive house built in the Czech Republic.
The eco-centre is also the venue for the annual September Organic Harvest.
On the organic farm, we grow grain, vegetables and fruit in organic quality. In 1993 the organic farm received honourable mention in the competition for the ecological project of the year. In 2006 we received the "Barták's Pot" for the best organic farmer of the year.
In the organic bakery, we bake salty and sweet pastries, which we deliver to our stores and restaurants as well as to organic food stores throughout the Czech Republic. We use only raw materials in organic quality, and we bake flour from Czech and foreign organic farmers. The assortment also includes wholemeal rye sourdough bread.
Country Life is the largest importer and trader of organic products and one of the largest traders in health food products in the Czech Republic. In the wholesale store, we offer 2,500 products, of which nearly 1,500 items are in bio-quality. The range includes durable and chilled foods, fruits and vegetables, pastries, organic cleaners and natural cosmetics. The wholesale store has been based in Rudná near Prague since the beginning of 2016.
Organic food and health food stores
The “bio-family” of Country Life also includes eight organic food and health food stores in Prague. The first was a store in Melantrichova 15, opened in the early 1990s and has been in the same place for over 25 years. Later on, it was joined by a store in Jungmannova 1 street. The store on the street of the Czechoslovak Army is one of the largest organic stores in the Czech Republic. A specialised organic and natural cosmetics shop is located in Liliova Street in Prague 1.
Restaurants and snack bars
In addition to the organic shop, there is also our restaurants in Prague. It offers a self-service selection, hot and cold vegan cuisine, a salad bar and fruit and vegetable juices. The interior of the restaurant in Melantrichova Street(Prague) comes from the workshop of architect Jiří Vorl. The restaurant can be found next to our shop in Cs. armády in Prague 6. You can also get refreshed in Jungmannova Street(Prague) snack bar, where we offer hot and cold dishes, sandwiches, desserts and salads.
Information and educational activities
We publish the magazine Dobroty, which we distribute in 60,000 copies to health food stores throughout the Czech Republic.
We cooperate with the humanitarian organisation ADRA. This cooperation has been going on since ADRA was established in 1992. Some of the humanitarian and rescue events were attended by the Country Life director, Mr Otakar Jiránek.
We are a member of the Association of Organic Farmers Pro-bio.
We are a member of OCI (Outpost Centers International, www.outpostcenters.org) and ASI (Adventist Society of Institutions, Entrepreneurs and Managers, www.asi-cs.cz).
Organic food is grown with respect to nature and human health. However, it does not mean that every organic food is healthy. Pork belly is a source of unhealthy cholesterol, whether conventional or organic. Even less healthy or unhealthy inlaid products (caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes) can be purchased in bio-quality, but it does not reduce their harmfulness. With bio-cigarettes, cancer is treated as much as it is with the conventional ones. As for us, organic food is part of a broader concept of a healthy lifestyle; we try to bring only food that contributes to a healthy and balanced diet.
The whole production of Country Life in Nenačovice near Beroun is focused on low ecological demands.
Interesting facts about the eco-centre:
- We recycled the formerly abandoned hayloft (today's wholesale warehouse) and cowshed (today's company headquarters, packing and bakery).
- The rebuilt cowshed building is now a low-energy building and the new part - Ark - has the parameters of a passive house. It is the first passive house built in the Czech Republic.
- Natural materials are used as much as possible in the newly built part. Where possible, the wood is left untreated and only impregnated with linseed oil and beeswax emulsion.
- The walls of the buildings are extremely thick for very good insulation.
- On the roof, we have solar collectors for domestic hot water.
- We collect rainwater into underground reservoirs and use it for flushing and washing.
- We use an air recirculation system that works on the principle of air recirculation: it creates a mix of building waste heat and outside air. Air from outside comes through an underground duct, so it is not as cold in winter and as hot in summer as the outside air.
- We have natural linoleum in all the offices and residential areas in the Eco-Center. Linoleum is the only resilient flooring made of renewable raw material - linseed oil.
- We use Ecover eco-friendly cleaners and detergents for cleaning and washing.