Warburtons has appointed its first female general manager in the baker's 134-year history.

Vivienne Jones has taken up the role at Warburtons' Pennine bakery in Shaw, near Oldham. The bakery employs 188 staff and distributes some of Warburtons' best-selling loaves to major supermarkets and independent retailers across the north west of England.

Originally from North Wales, Jones previously worked at Premier Foods where she was factory manager at its Reading site.

Warburtons was well placed to adapt to the changing market due to its continued focus on quality products, investment in employees and innovation in products that meet customers' needs, she said.

"I was attracted to the business because of its values and culture. I am thrilled to be joining a bakery in Warburtons' heartland", she added.

"I have the privilege of working with a very capable and experienced team many of whom have worked with the company for a number of years. The business's values and ethos of producing quality products are evident here." Her favourite product, she said, was the Toastie loaf that she had grown up on.

In June, the company ­renewed its milling wheat contract with British farmers up to 2016 a deal worth £140m to farmers over the next six years. It came just a month after the baker axed plans to make two all-British loaves.

Warburtons has 14 ­bakeries and 13 depots in the UK, producing some two million loaves, rolls and crumpets a day.