The banana is the fourth most important agricultural commodity globally, with total production only behind maize, rice and wheat. The banana, in terms of volume, is the most traded and produced fruit in the world and an important staple food for nearly 400 million people in many developing countries.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, some 1,000 varieties of banana trees have been identified in more than 150 countries, producing around 105 to 120 million tonnes (Mt) of fruit per year. There are two main families: the sweet banana, and the cooking banana.The demand for conventional bananas remained relatively flat over the first decade of the twenty-first century, while the demand for organic bananas increased markedly.For example, according to a report published in 2015, entitled The Role of Agriculture and Food Consumption in Tropical Conservation,organic banana imports in the United States, between 2000 and 2010, grew fourfold, from 27,000 tonnes to over 123,000 tonnes. Industry sources have reported that organic bananas represent one of the fastest growing commodities among organic produce, with demand outstripping supply.