M&S has amended its dairy farmers' milk payment scheme to link the price they receive directly to the retail price of M&S milk for the first time.

The new Milk Pledge Plus scheme builds on M&S's Milk Pledge scheme, launched in 2005. Whereas previously 50% of the price paid was based on a basket of retail milk prices, now 25% will be based on the basket, and 25% will be based on the M&S milk shelf price. The other 50% of the price will continue to be based on farmers' fuel, feed and fertiliser costs.

In addition, Milk Pledge Plus builds in a bonus element for those farmers who meet additional animal welfare, health and sustainability targets based on the retailer's Plan A ethical commitments.

Farmers who achieved a 'double green' under the new scheme would get 0.75ppl above what they would have received under M&S's previous scheme.