HEREFORD cattle – pride of the county and synonymous with the finest beef in the world – have been used by Tesco to front a cheap milk advertising campaign.

The obvious problem is that the Hereford Blacks used in the advert would never have been milked in their lives.

And while the nationwide marketing mistake has cost the supermarket giants thousands, it is another reminder to rural communities how far the supermarket has become from farmers, according to one worker employed in the dairy industry.

Farmer Charlie Meredith said: “It's been circulating around dairy articles for a couple of weeks .

“When I saw it I just laughed, it is just embarrassing for Tesco, they are definitely Herefords.

“You would have thought Britain's largest retailer could tell the difference between dairy and beef cows.”

The offer being advertised in the poster, cutting the price of a two-litre bottle of milk to £1, was mirrored by Sainsbury’s and Co-Operative Food last month.

And while that is good news for customers, too often it is the farmers who are taking the hit, as supermarkets lower the price for the milk they buy.

Mr Meredith added: “It’s a chain reaction - when the supermarkets lower their prices it puts pressure on the processors to provide milk cheaper, so they cut the price to the farmer.

“It takes the biscuit really as Tesco are selling the milk cheap and reducing the milk price - and then get the advert wrong.”