German wurst giant Raspe and Paschen has joined with a New Zealand meat processor to create one of the world's largest sausage producers. The new company, trading as Rapa United Casings (NZ), is a 50-50 venture between the Hamburg-based sausage casing dealer and Affco NZ. Affco chief executive Ross Townshend said Rapa would tackle its major global competitors, mainly European companies, head-on, and would focus on producing products that meet customers' specifications.Affco will export "green runners," unprocessed sheep and lamb intestines to be used as sausage casings, from a new plant. The joint venture with a major European producer will give the kiwi company access to a global customer base and wider exposure to export markets.New Zealand was home to the world's largest natural sausage casing company, the New Zealand Casing co, but the operation was broken up when it was taken over three years ago.