AID

Foundation Helps Coffee Farmers Get By

The Calvert Social Investment Foundation, a Bethesda-based anti-poverty group, yesterday said it is providing $650,000 in financing to coffee farmers in Peru, using $1 million that Starbucks had invested in Calvert in 2001. The loans will go to tide over farmers during the months between the harvest and when they are paid. Without such a cushion, farmers are frequently forced to sell at cut-rate prices.

The farmers don't have to be Starbucks suppliers. By recycling the Starbucks funds, Calvert, to date, has been able to provide a total of $2.7 million in financing for more than 24,000 coffee growers in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, and Mexico, the group reported.

EARNINGS

Rowe Cos. Swings to Second-Quarter Loss

The Rowe Cos. of McLean, a furniture manufacturer and operator of the Storehouse home furnishings chain, lost $2.5 million (19 cents a share) on $79.9 million in shipments for the second quarter ended May 29, compared with a profit of $729,000 (5 cents) on shipments of $75.6 million a year earlier.

The company said that it will focus on problems including "manufacturing productivity," invoicing errors and late deliveries.

CONTRACTS

Maximus Wins MassHealth Work

Maximus of Reston received a contract from the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services to provide customer service to more than 1 million residents covered by MassHealth, the state health insurance plan. The four-year contract worth $72 million can be extended for an additional six years for a total of $168 million. Maximus, a government services consulting firm, partnered with Electronic Data Systems and Vecna Technologies on the contract.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.