The topic of food geographical indications (GIs) in Australia is crucial to the free trade agreement negotiations currently proceeding between Australia and the EU, as the latter is seeking exclusive rights to use European GIs in Australia. Australia does not currently have a sui generis GI registration scheme for food products (other than wine) therefore we sought to contrast the standard trade mark system in operation with a hypothetical food GI scheme. We identified King Island (KI), Tasmania, as a suitable case study because the KI provenance brand is well known in the beef, dairy and lobster industries. We conducted desktop research, and interviews with producers in all industries on the Island. Our analysis suggests that food GIs could provide base‐line certainty about provenance while allowing competition around individual trade marks to proceed to the benefit of consumers and the Island community as a whole. Our study tends to reinforce the case favouring Australian legislative changes which would enable local producers to seek registration of food GIs around uncontroversial specifications.