The banana is the most popular fruit in the world - people spend over £10 billion a year on the fruit globally.
Banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. They are actually giant herbs of the same family as lilies, orchids and palms.
Wild bananas originated in Asia and have been cultivated for more than 4,000 years.
Bananas are one of the few fruits that ripen best off the plant. Even in tropical growing areas, bananas for domestic consumption are cut green and stored in moist shady places to ripen slowly.
Bananas are available all year-round. They are harvested every day of the year.
While banana sales and demand soar, prices have plummeted, having a devastating effect on banana producers. In November 1997, bananas cost an average of £1.08 per kg in UK supermarkets. In June 2008 that price was as low as 50p per kg.
The majority of banana plantation workers do not earn enough to live and support their families – some earn less than £1 per day.
Bananas contain tryptophan and vitamin B6, known to help make you feel happy.
Banana diseases are a major problem for growers, threatening production and export. Despite their importance to food security in the developing world and to consumption in richer countries, remarkably little is invested in research to find solutions to disease problems and into sustainable production systems.
Conrad James has been selling his bananas into the Fairtrade market for over six years.
Find out about the impact of Fairtrade on banana workers.