For information about this year's General Assembly click "Anjou 2019"

The Friends of the Countryside (FCS) represent the custodians of European estates and the traditional industries, patrimony, and heritage in their stewardship. These landowners, entrepreneurs and decision makers which compose FCS, create a network of like-minded individuals united to promote the interests of their land and livelihood through innovative and sustainable practices. Through the platform of the ELO, Friends of the Countryside are able to ensure that their voice is heard throughout the European Union and beyond.


   Wonderful to see so many Friends at FFA 2019!   


Kwint FFA2   Kwint FFA












FFA 2019 b


   "I hope that tomorrow morning you will ask yourself what is possible in your life to make the transition real.   You owe it to the #TheNextGeneration...Change is difficult, change is scary, but change is also vital" @JanezPotocnik22   





ELO are partners in an Erasmus project COFARM - Enhancing cooperation between rural entrepreneurs which will be coming to an end. 
The final conference will be held at Residence Palace on the 24th April at 2pm, and we would like to extend a welcome to you. 
Cooperation amongst rural entrepreneurs, rural landowners and farmers has a wide range of mutual benefits, and this Erasmus+ project aims at providing these actors with the skills and knowledge to cooperate more effectively and in innovative ways.
The project consortium have created training modules which cover all the fundamentals of farmer to farmer cooperation: from initiating cooperation, to managing expectations, as well as planning exit strategies for a smooth ceasing of operation. The training system will be accessible and relevant for learners. It is fully compatible with desktop, tablet and mobile devices and will be free of charge. You can find more information on the project website .
During the conference, we will hear about the outcome of the project, as well as guest speakers from other European funded projects. It will be followed by some refreshments and networking.
You can RSVP here
or by emailing:



For good agriculture and environmental conditions


 Sustainable land and soil management is central to improve our food systems, maintain a healthy environment and ensure European rural development. Indeed, soils, through their structure and the great variety of species they host, perform numerous functions including food production, nutrient and water storage, filtering, buffering as well as breaking down and conserving organic matter. They also play a central role in the protection of water and in the natural exchange of gases with the atmosphere. Moreover, soils are biological habitats, gene pools, elements of landscapes and of cultural heritage as well as providers of raw materials. They are therefore crucial for agriculture and for all human beings as well as for nature itself, and are the foundation of our health and our wealth. Soils are as such part of Europe’s greatest treasures, thus, it is important to promote and reward practices which contribute to their protection.

The prize rewards land use and soil management practices mitigating soil threats with the aim of encouraging new concepts of land and soil protection and their implementation in land management, as well as enhancing awareness about the importance of land and soil functions.


Who can apply?

Farmers, landowners, land managers, groups of farmers, on their own or in collaboration with research institutes, universities and/or private companies.


Why apply?

To recognize the great value of the farmer’s work, by promoting the winning project as a good practice at the EU level. Also, to enhance the visibility of such ways of farming at the local, national as well as European scale and to encourage farmers to further develop their work in a sustainable path.
5 000 € is awarded to the winning project every year.                                                The Jury can also award a Diploma of Recognition.


How to apply

The call for application is open, you need to send the filled out application form latest on December 31, 2018.
The award is bestowed to the winner every year during the Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) Gala Dinner.
Please note: the application should preferably be filled out in English. If the application chooses another language a well-structured English summary of the project should be enclosed. 

To download the application form click here



This award has been launched in 2008 by the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO), under the auspices of the European Commission (DG Environment and the Joint Research Centre) and in association with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) of Vienna, Syngenta International AG, as well as the Centre for Soil and Environmental Sciences of the Ljubljana University. Since then, the award jury has selected outstanding achievements throughout the European Union in the field of sustainable soil and land management.


Previous Prize winners

Year Project name Location Name of applicant
2017/2018 Preservation of soil health and fertility by implementing new concepts of land management Bulgaria Galina Dimitrova Peycheva-Miteva
  Diploma of Recognition: Holistic Management Regenerating Agricultural Soils Zimbabwe Africa Centre for Holistic Management
2016/2017 Healthy Soil for Healthy Food Austria 59 Austrian farmers, SPAR and WWF Austria
Creating new land and soil management opportunities under Mediterranean soil and climatic limitations

Portalimpex, Lda

2014/2015 Soil Regeneration at West Woodhay Farms UK West Woodhay Farms
2013/2014 The Pontbren Project Wales Pontbren Farmers Group
2012/2013 Global approach for a sustainable agroecosystem France E.A.R.L. LEFEBVRE
2011/2012 Certified course “soil practitioner” for crop and grassland farmers Austria Bio Austria (group of farmers)
2010/2011 The Land Stewardship Network Spain Jordi Pietx
2009/2010 Little things mean a lot Iceland Erlendur Björnsson
2008/2009 Jistebnice Highlands Czech Republic Jana Maděrová



For more information please contact Award Coordinator:

Emmanuelle Mikosz
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Contact Us

Friends of the Countryside ASBL

67, Rue de Trèves

B-1040 Brussels


Phone: +32 (0)

Fax: +32 (0)

About us

Friends of the Countryside represents the custodians of European estates and the traditional industries, patrimony, and heritage in their stewardship.



With the support of:                                                                              logo df                                      LGT PB Logo cmyk