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About Co-operative Supermarkets Australia



Co-operative Supermarkets Australia (“CSA”) was formed in October 2019, after an extensive global review of grocery retailer based


Where this model exists, it typically wins in the marketplace because of its low operating cost and ability to connect with consumers on a local basis.


CSA has attained ACCC approval to collectively negotiate on behalf of its retailer members.  The current membership represents 500+ retail outlets, predominantly along the eastern seaboard, but with representation in every state and territory in Australia.


Our Mission is to create a successful future for independent retailers by providing them the opportunity to have more independence and control to deliver greater, sustainable, profitability.


The Co-op is set up for generations to come.

It is not designed to be sold or reduced in its independence.






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CSA has a strong and stable Board, committed to the Co-op’s success. The current Board is represented by well respected retailers from Ritchies, Karellas Group, Hill Street Grocer, Karkazis Brothers and the Bayvew Group, and is led by the industry specialist, Warwick White.

The first Board is expected to serve for a period of at least 5 years, in order to establish the business and vision held for CSA.  


It is the intention that the CSA Board will always comprise of the best retailers from within the CSA membership, and with independent and supplementary skill sets drawn through a process of identification by a Director Selection Committee.

Terry Karkazis, Chairman
Terry Karkazis is a second generation independent supermarket operator. 

He is passionate about the independent sector and has owned and operated Independent Supermarkets in Canberra with his brother for over 20 years.  

He has been involved in various representative boards and committees over many years and strives to improve the position of the independent sector.
Terry Karkazis Co-operative Supermarkets Australia Board Director
Fred Harrison, Board Director

Fred Harrison began his career as a casual with Ritchies in 1975 and worked his way up to management; was appointed as General Manager in 1987 and as Chief Executive Officer and Director in 1994.


Fred understands better than most, the essential ingredients that make Australian retailers successful. Upon his appointment as CEO, Fred recognised the stores needed a fresh outlook to stay current and for the business to continue to grow. Fred also talks passionately about Ritchies providing clear points of differences.  It is well recognised within the supermarket industry that Ritchies offer an outstanding and unique range of products and attracts new customers to their businesses which has contributed strongly to significant sales increases over the past 10 years.

Fred’s passion for the Supermarket and Liquor industry and his devotion to delivering an outstanding customer experience, has made him one of Australia’s most successful retailers.

Fred Harrison Co-operative Supermarkets Australia Board Director
Nick Nikitaras Co-operative Supermarkets Australia Board Director
Nick Nikitaras, Board Director

Nick and his brother Marco founded Hill Street Grocer 21 years ago. From one store in southern Tasmania, the business has grown to encompass 10 stores across the state, with plans for future growth.


Key to Hill Street’s success as an independent retailer has been a differentiated food offering, a dominant directs range, the development of a strong brand, and being a leader in sustainability and environmental changes.


Prior to Hill Street, Nick was a lawyer working in the aviation industry.

Jeff Harper, Board Director

Jeff Harper, along with his family, has owned and operated supermarkets in Victoria for nearly two decades, with the current portfolio including Ashburton IGA and Southbank IGA Xpress.


Jeff advocates for a strong and vibrant independent grocer industry and places family owned and operated businesses at the centre of his decision making.


Throughout his years in the industry, he has held and contributed to a variety of Board and committee positions, including Victorian State Board Chairperson and Director of the MGA.  Being a part of these committees has allowed Jeff to see the broader retailer issues and better understand how to assist the industry as whole. 


Jeff thoroughly enjoys working with retailers to listen to their concerns, and working towards achieving a profitable and successful independent network.

Jeff Harper Co-operative Supermarkets Australia Board Director
Vasilli Karellas, Board Director

Vasilli and his brother Andrew run a family owned and operated retail group with a proven and successful history since its commencement in 1979.


From its grass roots, being a single supermarket operation in Canberra, the Karellas Group now incorporates 7 successful supermarket trading sites in key areas in Sydney and surrounds.


Karellas Group supermarkets are considered leaders in the retail industry and are regularly acknowledged as award winning operations within the independent retailer network.  Their demonstrated ability to grow by strategically reinvesting  in competitive pricing, store refurbishments and refreshing their offerings to long-term, valued customers, sets it apart in its field.

Vasilli Karellas Co-operative Supermarkets Australia Board Director


The CSA management team consists of 10 employees, led by CEO James Lane.

The team is currently based in Sydney and Melbourne and will soon have representation in Brisbane.


There is a wealth of FMCG and retail experience in the team, which is heavily supported by our retailer Board Directors.

James Lane Co-operative Supermarkets Australia CEO
James Lane

James spent 27 years at Coca-Cola Amatil across a number of roles, including 4 years as General Manager Grocery and 4 years as Commercial Director.


Recently he has spent 3 years as an independent consultant working for Bain and Co, The Australian Food and Grocery Council (Grocery Academy), and Realworld Marketing, specialising in route to market, revenue management and key account management.


James has a passion for independent retailing, and capability development. 

He is extremely excited by the opportunity to create a unique business model with the Australian retail market.

CSA Team Org Chart.png


Co-operatives make history, forming to address market needs or failure; or forming to give buying power to those they represent – they then shape that market.  By simply coming into being, co-operatives change the market forever in the interests of those they represent.

That is a good thing in free market economies that rely on competition to ensure consumers have genuine choice and that markets operate fairly and equitably in the interests of consumers and business owners.

Some 180 years ago when on 21 December 1844 the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society opened a shop on Toad Lane in Rochdale, near Manchester, which became the model for co-operatives around the world, that has now grown to a global movement of epic proportions with legendary marques like Le Clerc in France, Migros in Switzerland, and The Co-operative and Waitrose in the UK.

Fast forward to today – the modern global co-operative movement stands on the shoulders of these pioneers, but you will be the giants of tomorrow.

I am proud to lead an organisation representing many more “CSA” like organisations, working with and by the independents they represent in retailing markets including food and beverages, liquor, carpets, tyres, sporting goods, health foods and cleaning products.

You are already discovering the power of the network and what you can do together at scale to bring down the cost of doing business.

Co-operatives are founded on this great tradition and are rational self-interest. They are the best at mixing commerciality and common purpose, profits and purpose.

CSA stands for unity, resilience, independence and autonomy. You also stand for the power of local business, sovereignty, supply chain and food security and local jobs. One thing I am excited about is the important role CSA can play in supporting a local food manufacturing sector through your hyper-localised, buying power.

An estimated 140,000 business owners, like you, are supported by their co-operative groups in Australia. Co-ops are hiding in plain sight – they are the ‘Ninja economy’. Tyrepower, Carpetone, ILG, Best Western, Plumbers’ Supplies, Go Vita, the list goes on.

Better still, co-operation amongst co-operatives – the 7th principle – presents huge opportunities for collaborative business.

You own it, it is yours to control

Better for you, better for consumers. Better for Australians.

And for that, I say – Thank you!"

Melina Morrison

Chief Executive Officer

Business Council of Co-operatives & Mutuals

Business Council of Co-operatives & Mutuals
Melina Morrison   Chief Executive Officer   Business Council of Co-operatives & Mutuals
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