WARBURTONS bosses say they are hoping to become the coun- try’s biggest “family” food compa- ny with an audacious bid to sell sliced bread to France and Spain.

The Bolton-based bakery is targeting French families, who they believe no longer have time to buy freshly-baked baguettes every day.

The huge proposed deals, the value of which the company would not dis- close, comes as the expanding firm is dealing with redeployment or redun- dancies of van delivery assistants in Bolton.

Warburtons, which has more than 20 bakeries in the UK, is in talks to stock white, brown and seeded loaves in supermarkets around Paris.

It will also begin selling bread next month to British ex-pats in the tradi- tional Spanish holiday resorts, Mala- ga, Alicante and Balearic Islands.

In a statement, Warburtons said: “As part of its vision to become the world’s largest family food company, Warbur- tons is exploring the possibility of exporting products to France, a move which could see our wrapped loaves on the shelves in Paris in the coming months. In addition, we will also be activating our tourist plan imminent- ly, which is aimed at the tourism mar- ket and the ex-pat community in Spain.

“Initially, this will involve distribut- ing wrapped bread to retailers in Malaga, Alicante and the Balearic Islands.

“This development forms part of an innovative export project in central Europe where Warburtons is current- ly working with Tesco to distribute to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hun- gary and Poland.”

Warburtons said wrapped bread, including the Toastie line, was most popular abroad.

Keith Davies, head of economic development and regeneration at Bolton Council said: “It’s great news that a flagship Bolton company is exporting products abroad like this.”

Dr Brian Sloan, Chief Economist at Greater Manchester Chamber of Com- merce, said: “This news confirms that businesses in Bolton can still compete in a wide range of markets overseas.

“It also goes to show that a wide range of British products, not just high-tech goods, have a place in the global market.”

At Warburtons’ Bolton depot, 16 van drivers’ assistants are facing redun- dancy or redeployment as it strives to bring Bolton in line with its other UK depots. In 2010 Warburtons made 45 staff redundant.