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Farmers, Nestle in milk payment row (2)

By  Zhou Huiying and Qiu Bo  (China Daily)

08:19, October 26, 2011

Most dairy farmers in Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang province in Northeast China, have suffered from such "unfair treatment" from the Nestle plant over the previous decade or longer, Xinhua News Agency reported over the weekend.

Local dairy farmers told Xinhua "the company juggled their scales and intended to withhold a fraction from farmers for years".

The farmers also complained that the company said some of their raw milk was substandard without further explanation and that local authority forbade them from selling milk to other dairy companies outside Shuangcheng.

The company's branch issued their standards for milk quality in 1996, six years after it established its base in Shuangcheng. The company runs 74 collection spots in the city.

On Tuesday, Shuangcheng Nestle Co said it would improve it weighing procedures.

The announcement said the local government would provide new scales to each collection spot by Wednesday to guarantee fairness and the company would ensure that farmers' milk was fairly weighed.

It also said the government would enhance supervision of the collection spots and the company would set up a hotline for farmers' complaints.

Shuangcheng Nestle Co said there were two other dairy companies in the city and farmers were not forced to deliver to Nestle.

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