Nestle has made changes to the way it weighs milk supplied by farmers in China after claims the company was under-paying its suppliers.

The world's largest food maker has tweaked its procedures after farmers alleged they were being "cheated" when selling their milk to the company.

However, Nestle still denies the claims and said today (27 October) that the changes have been made to provide an "extra level of reassurance" to farmers in Shuangcheng, a city in China's north-eastern province of Heilongjiang.

Farmers had claimed Shuangcheng Nestle Co., the Swiss group's local venture with the city, had under-weighed their milk, leaving them under-paid. Some farmers also claimed they were forced to sell their milk to the venture.

Nestle and local officials investigated the claims and, although the food maker continues to deny the allegations, changes have been made to how the venture weighs the milk collected.

A spokesperson for Nestle's Chinese operations said milk had been rounded up or down to the nearest whole or half number. Now, he said, the milk's weight would be recorded as it actual weight.

The venture also has extra weighing systems in place at the milk collection points so famers can have their milk weighed again if they believe there is any discrepancy. A hotline has also been set up to deal with farmers' complaints.

The spokesperson conceded the changes had been made after the allegations were reported but he insisted Nestle had not "cheated" its suppliers.

"These changes were made over the last few days but in the first place Nestle doesn't cheat farmers," he said. "Nestle doesn't want to under-weigh farmers' milk." The measures, he added, had been introduced "to provide an additional layer of reassurance".