Organic food has grown from a niche business that once appealed mostly to “health nuts” into a booming mainstream industry with $40 billion in annual sales nationwide. But one of the original purveyors of natural groceries in the Boston area isn’t reaping any of the profits.

On Wednesday, workers staged a demonstration and presented cards asking for a union election to the Minneapolis office of the National Labor Relations Board. isn’t the location that makes the state’s newest brewery unique. It's the fact that it's one of the few breweries in the state to operate as a worker-owned cooperative, granting employees equity shares in the business after one year of employment. While most breweries are owned as traditional small businesses, Harpoon Brewery became employee-owned in 2014.

Co-operatives, community land trusts and other housing models are coming together to help communities design their own homes and neighbourhoods.

The new concept – known as a platform for social production of habitat (SPH) – means locals are involved in projects, so they meet their own specifications rather than those set by the private market.

Boulder is now accepting applications from those seeking to establish housing co-operatives in the city, with the first licenses expected to be granted in mid-July.


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