Skip to main content

Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Fermenting Workplace Democracy

Using Worker Ownership to Change Our Food Industry

Article type
August 22, 2019
Body paragraph

Join Real Pickles, Equal Exchange, and Democracy Brewing for a lively and interactive panel on how three local companies are using worker ownership and fermentation to change our food industry for the better.

Learn about how these worker cooperatives are succeeding at scale, and explore the bubbly intersection of fermentation and workplace democracy. We will leave lots of time for audience Q&A and we will have samples to share! The discussion will be moderated by Greg Brodsky of and will include:

* Lucy Kahn of Real Pickles, which is a worker owned cooperative in Western Mass that produces raw, fermented vegetables. 

* Danielle Robidoux of Equal Exchange, which is a worker owned cooperative in East Bridgewater Mass that sells fair trade coffee, chocolate, and tea.

* James Razsa of Democracy Brewing, which is a worker-owned brewery and restaurant right in downtown Boston.

Greg Brodsky is the founder of, which is a Boston based accelerator for cooperatively owned businesses. He was previously the founder of The Bike Cooperative, and a co-founder of the Independent Brewers Alliance. He is also the Board Chair of the Cooperative Development Institute. 

Lucy Kahn has worked at Real Pickles Co-operative for 4 years, first as production staff, then assistant production manager, and now as a sales representative. In 2016, she became a worker-owner at Real Pickles, and she now serves as treasurer on the board of directors, a member of the worker-ownership committee, and a member of the justice and equity working group. Before working at Real Pickles, Lucy worked on urban, rural, educational, and organic CSA farms while studying global food systems and food justice movements.

Danielle Robidoux has been an organizer at Equal Exchange for the past 3 years. A long-time food activist with a Masters in International Relations and Economic Development at Umass Boston, Danielle manages a team of 4,000 food activists in the US as part of the Equal Exchange network. She is co-host of the Equal Exchange podcast The Stories Behind Our Food. Danielle has been one of the main organizers of Equal Exchange's yearly Summits bringing together producer partners internationally, citizen-consumers, and worker-owners of Equal Exchange to sit around one table and grapple with issues plaguing our food system.

James Razsa brings a passion for worker cooperatives and organizing to the team. He hails from Gray, Maine, and has a bachelor’s degree in Community Studies and Economic Justice from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His extensive experience in economic justice organizing includes working for Young Workers United, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), as both a political organizer and a community organizer; and Jobs with Justice, where he coordinated campaigns that brought together labor, community, faith, student, and immigrant groups. He has worked sales with Equal Exchange, one of the largest worker-owned businesses in the United States. James until recently was the Director of Campaigns for 350 Massachusetts for a Better Future, a community-led climate justice organization. Last but no less important, James has five years experience in the service industry and two years at three Boston based breweries.

Learn more about the 2019 Boston Fermentation Festival Speaker Series at Boston Ferments.

Watch more presentations from Boston Ferments on Youtube.


Go to the GEO front page


Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.